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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch AleDark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale

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1,572 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,572
Reviews: 569
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 113
Gots: 217 | 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:
Beer added by: ypsifly on 01-28-2006

Available September to March.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,572 | Reviews: 569
Photo of eclipse54
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle from JM03; thank you very much for this "Want!" Poured into a Deschutes tulip...

Pours a murky brown, toffee color that is hazy to the point of opaque. About two centimeters of fluffy, bubbly, cream-colored head develops and lingers briefly. Minimal lacing is left on the glass as scattered patches of bubbles. The nose is a bit subdued, but scotch, a bit of grain, some lighter (English?) malt, and earthen notes are present. The aroma is pleasant, just hard to detect. It tastes of earthen grass, faint malt, peaty scotch, some odd, citrusy fruits, and a rush of smoky grain at the end. Alcohol is completely hidden. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than expected, but not in a bad way. It is crisp on the tongue and finishes clean, adding to the drinkability greatly. Overall, a highly drinkable scotch ale that I could happily return to.

Photo of paxtonthegreat
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just like any good scotch ale this beer starts and finishes with an exceptional carmerlized carmelly taste with slight smoke and roast. At 9.75% it hides it's alcohol very very well. Always looking forward to this one come fall in hopes of drinking these at dark horse while watching scotty perform too.

Photo of ChadQuest
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is a murky brown color, a finger of head that lasts a decent amount of time.
The aroma, first off has a prominent smoked malt note, in with the smoked malts are a bunch of sweeter malts that give off a rich caramel and dark fruits.
The flavors come across so smooth, rich, and creamy and integrated. I swear the last 2 bottles of this i drank were not this integrated or smooth, this one is prime. Once again Smoked malts, caramel malts, peaty earthy notes, reminds me of moss covered rocks, the dark fruits are lesser here then the earthy notes but show s glimpse, and the smokey notes really add a deep complexity here compared to other in the genre.

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

Pours a very cloudy brown color that shows ruby red highlights when lifted to the sun. Light tan head sits at an inch and holds decent retention. Spotty and web-like lacing clings.

The nose is sweet with toffee, caramel malt, and a bit of leather.

The taste is full flavored and robust with rich caramel, roasty malts, toffee, a touch cocoa, and leather. Very tasty and drinkable given the ABV.

The mouthfeel is pretty thick and full-bodied, creamy, smooth, and comfortable.

Overall, one of the best non barrel-aged scotch ales I have had. Very nice flavors and texture.

Photo of haywire77
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a SA perfect pint glass.

Brew poured a murky translucent orange/brown with small yeast floaties, and about 1/2" of off white head that disappeared to a thick ring and patchy cap.

Smell is dark fruits such as raisins and prunes. Maybe burnt cherries and smoke. Bready malts and a little alcohol. Every time i bring this to my nose, I pick out something different.

Tastes like oaked molasses and scotch mixed in with a big ol' heap of bready malt and dried fruit. About as good of a scotch ale as I think I've had. Alcohol heat rolls in at the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner that I would like, but still solid. A few lingering qualities like the booze heat and maybe a little hop oil on the tongue. Mostly a dry finish, however.

Overall this is probably my favorite of the style so far. Great offering from Dark Horse that I will definitely purchase again. I will, however, be wary of the 9.75.

Photo of MakeshiftBrew
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep amber caramel, slight orange-red tint in light. It appears somewhat hazy with small amounts of yeast particulate (which I kind of like). Little head, roughly one half to a finger height which dissolves into a dusting of tightly packed bubbles and minimal lacing.

Nose: A bit banana nut like with a caramel toasted aroma. I pick up on some alcohol but it mixes well with the other aromas.

Taste/aroma: Very similar to nose but with less banana. Caramel, nut and toasted flavors come through primarily, accented by a faint smoky taste. Initially somewhat tangy or fruity which recedes into a sweet, rich toasted nut flavor. Low hop profile, smooth and a bit earthy with almost no bite. Hops linger delicately spicy and grassy while the beer gently coats the mouth with a gentle chewy sweetness. The alcohol content of this beer is hidden very well, with what comes through only enhancing the flavors well.

One of my favorite beers.

Photo of heysuz
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Intro: Split a 12oz with a friend in snifter glasses.

Appearance: Thin but bubbly head that is tannish brown. A ring remains around the glass throughout the tasting with high carbonation on the glass. Deep rich mahogany color, almost a root beer. It looks thick and grainy.

Smell: Strong aroma of scotch with caramel notes and some malty fruity smells, reminds me of either Cellar Reserve or a weak quad.

Taste: Sharp taste that again reminds of Cellar Reserve and quads. A little thinner in the flavor range, but the rich deep liquor, in this case scotch flavor hits you first along with the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Next to no aftertaste except some alcohol residue. Overall pretty clean in the mouth no coating or oliness but not dry either.

Overall: The flavor has a richness to it that is refreshing a satisfying. Not as complex or resonant as most quads and this is not a quad, but it has many aspects that remind of that style which is a favorite of mine.

Photo of robwestcott
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured cold to a sun king shaped pint a cloudy and opaque cinnamon brown with a 1/2 finger, super creamy, long lasting butterscotch head leaving slowly receding spotty lace to the rim after each sip

big sweet bourbon aroma, lots of sugars and dark malts.

buttery brown sugars, bourbon, toasted malt, yum.

medium bodied, creamy smooth, sweet, high carbonation.

overall - a great week heavy. admittedly, i'm a huge wee heavy fan, but this one is right up there.

Photo of xnicknj
3.64/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at devils den in philly

Pours with a caramel haze color, thin crop of beige head fades into a filmy cloud, leaving a few spots of lacing on the glass.

Strong caramel and fruit tones in the nose with cherry and dates. Toffee and dark chocolate with peat and faint smoke. Soft alcohol warmth combines with the sweetness.

Bite of sweetness up front with candied dark fruit. Touches of raisin, date, and cherry. Peat and smoke wrapped in chocolate and cocoa. Somewhat sweet, but still boozy and smoky. Finishes a bit sweet and warm.

Medium body, higher carbonation, sticky and chewy on the tongue. A pretty solid wee heavy, but not quite one of my favorites.

Photo of gigaknight
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a standard pint glass just below room temperature (so that no flavor may hide behind the deceptive shield of the cold), presenting a decent finger of off-white head. Held up to the light, the brew is a beautiful deep red with just enough effervescence to look like beer.

S- Lots of sweet malty toffee aroma up front, joined by a light whiff of coffee grounds and followed by a hint of scotch (a little too earthy and briny to be bourbon). A shade of alcohol, some smokiness, and oak notes round out the aroma and make this a really pleasant-smelling scotch ale.

T- Wow, I was expecting something much stickier and sweeter, but am pleasantly surprised. That sweet toffee/coffee duo greet the palate, followed by a wide sweep of lush caramel and smoke. Alcohol is present, but blends very nicely into the array of flavors present and makes itself scarce. The aftertaste lingers with some more of those ol' scotch notes (leaning towards an Islay single-malt on account of the brine and just a touch of iodine), and some smooth coffee to mull over til the next sip.

M- The mouthfeel is sublime, the brewers struck a wonderful balance with a rich, silky body that presents almost no saccharin stickiness. Not that sticky is a bad thing, but I found it quite refreshing to have a big beer such as this stay somewhat on the dry side. Similarly, the carbonation is perfectly subtle and carries the flavors flawlessly.

O- Next to Backwoods Bastard and Shaggin' in the Wood (which is almost doesn't count as a scotch ale due to the inclusion of stout characteristics), this is one of my new top 3 scotch ales. Not as sweet and powerful as something like Skull Splitter, Scotty Karate errs on the side of session ale (though at 9.75%, it ought to be a short session) in it's ability to hide it's alcohol and leave the palate unburdened by thickness or sugar.

Photo of LiquidCucumber
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark copper, nearly brown. Pours with a rather weak head that dissipates into a thin layer of foam which sticks around for a while.

S - Sweet malts attack the nose and end on a slightly smoky cocoa note.

T - Seriously malty. The flavor of sweet malts, figs, and cocoa throughout. Some booze, but no where near 9.75%'s worth.

M - Lighter than expected, but medium bodied. This one likes to linger a bit.

O - Pretty good stuff; not something I'm going to seek out a ton of, but I would buy again.

Photo of mactrail
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet and smoky powerful ale. Dark amber with a beige head. Nose is not so substantial but there is a little spice and a hint of Scotch whiskey. Sharp and even acidic in the mouth. Sweetness wears off as the dark, sourish burnt malt comes on. Quite hoppy but bitterness is certainly within bounds. Dark caramel and brown sugar. Fruity tang of dried figs.

This seems more complex as you sip. A very good example that shows restraint with sugar and smoke, but then goes wild with the alcohol. A great sipping beer.

Photo of clint1019
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Ruby brown in color with an extremly large large, very bubbly, caramel colored head that dissapates to a thin covering in about 5 minutes.

S - Rich caramel malt aroma with butterscotch and fruity notes. Also has a hint of smokeyness.

T - Has a really fruity malt flavor and a light caramel flavor. Finishes with a light bitterness. The flavors in this beer are not a pronounced as the smell.

M - light - medium bodied with a light carbonation.

O - A very good scotch ale. I'm kind of dissapointed that the flavors of the beer are not more noticable, but stil overall this is a great beer.

Photo of oline73
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. This is a bottle that was in the cellar from last year.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy mahogany color with some red around the edges. There is a half a finger of tan head that fades quickly to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Quite sweet with notes of brown sugar, dark fruit, and vanilla.

Taste: Follows closely from the smell. Not quite as sweet, but there are still some brown sugar notes. Also some ripe dark fruit and a hint of vanilla. There is a mild bitterness and a hint of warm alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Just on the thick side of medium. Mild carbonation and a slightly slick finish.

Overall: Nice and complex. I liked the dark fruit and vanilla notes. Would have again.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint grass from the bottle, I was immediately impressed by the aroma. The sweet maltiness coupled with a degree of fruitiness in the aroma brought to mind children's breakfast cereals. The color was a murky brown with a touch of reddish hue. The taste was a robust maltiness with a sweet banana candy flavor. This is not a scotch ale that one forgets a few minutes after it fits your tongue. Very smooth going down and easy to drink, Scotty Karate ends with a mildly sweet yet tart aftertaste. As a fan of the style, this may be the best Scotch Ale I have had.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in trade from GPHarris thanks for the opportunity. Pours a chunky cloudy dark brown color with a thinnish khaki head that quickly dissipates to a ring on top. Smell is sweet, malty, fruity, ethanol-y. Wow that's not what I expected on the nose, quite complex and different. Caramel, toffee, juicy dark fruit, toffee, hints of smoke and chocolate. Taste is sweet up front with a hint of chocolate, juicy fruits mixed with caramel midway through, long lingering sweet fruit and alcohol heat in a fairly dry finish. Body is a bit lighter than medium, light level of carbonation with a sweet sugary watery mouthfeel. This smells fantastic, looks horrible and tastes pretty good. I bit more body and clarity would send this one out the stratosphere for me.

Photo of beergod1
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown, swampy (<- A new word for murky) and hazy brown appearance with a light head...nice reddish hue to it...aroma is of dark fruits, spice, heavy sugars, creamy, and caramel. Flavor was sweet, dark fruit, raisin, and alcohol on the finish. Average palate; another gem from this brewery. I love Dark Horse.

Photo of Brabander
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a bottle i have in my fridge for over more than a year. I forgot completely who gave me this one. Whoever it was; thanks!

Poured in my Struise glass this beer has problems to show some head. Strong pouring in my Struise glass give a tiny little finger of head which disappears after 30 seconds. Darkbrown fluid with no carbonation.

Boozy smell with some chocolate and whisky notes.
Taste is ok but i miss the carbonation. Reasonable beer.

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of Cylinsier
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours an opaque blackish brown with a fine yellow-white head about a half inch thick, seems to retain quite well.

Smells of rich toffee and caramel along with some apple sweetness and a mild hint of hop.

The flavor is rich and sharp, with buttery caramel sweetness combining with a bit of apple tartness, some spiced character, and a very subtle hop element.

Feels moderate to full with a tingle of carbonation in the back of the throat and some noticeable alcohol warmth.

Very interesting and enjoyable brew but doesn't bother at all to hide its strength. Can feel a bit oppressive as a result, but in spite of that I like it a lot and would have it again.

Photo of Chico1985
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap long ago and enjoyed it, picked up a bottle for review a couple months back.

Pours dark brown with not much light getting through. Beige head turns to cap quickly but stays that way. Sediment visible.

Great scent. Peat, musty caramel, baked apples, reminds me of a good liquor.

Peat, toffee and caramel most noticeable in the taste, some earthy hops, toast, hints of chocolate and light+dark fruit.

Pretty solid mouthfeel overall, carbonation is a bit on the low side, not boozy.

Very enjoyable scotch ale. A big peat/earthy profile which I liked alot. Definitely digging Dark Horse so far.

Photo of fsvan
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, poured into a New Belgium Globe. Thanks to titosupertramp for the chance to try this one.

A- About an inch of off white head that dissipates quickly. Deep brownish red in color. Murky. Is this unfiltered? It appears that it may be, but there are no clumpy yeast. I don't recall ever being unsure of this before. Hmm.

S- Big peaty malts, as expected. Only a tiny hint of the almost 10% abv.

T- Follows the smell with peaty malts, and a good dose of caramel. The taste is actually rather subdued vs. the smell. Again, the alcohol is pretty well hidden for it being 10%.

M- Shockingly light bodied for the style and abv.

O- This a good beer, and one I'm glad to have gotten the opportunity to try. That being said, there are others of the style that I prefer.

Photo of BBP
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Ruby to chestnut in coloration. While the head was initially fairly solid, it receeded very quickly. Moderate carbonation. Very slight amounts of lace.

S- Background caramel and a dash of all grassy, spicy, and bittering hops. The aroma was somewhat blurred due to the competing ingredients, but what seemed to stand out was the liquor-like qualities in this. I'm not talking about alcohol, but it smells a bit like rum.

T- Caramel malt is balanced by hops, but strangely the hops leave little proof of their existence. The entire drink is bittersweet and balanced. There's a little bit of brown sugar and toffee, as well as what could possibly be raisins.

M- Fairly smooth, but a little bit too dry. It was literally like this drink sucked all the moisture off my tongue. Medium body for the style.

O- Drinkability was exceptional aside from the mild heat it presented in the stomach. I've never really known Dark Horse as a brewery that goes over the top. They always seem to have potent flavors, but in a you can't miss it way, rather than being all in your face.

This brew is smooth and very nice on the palate, but I just wish it had a bit more kick. I'm pretty sure that I'm drinking the 3/4 year old version right now, so I'll hopefully catch it this fall and try it fresh. Regardless, another solid beer from Dark Horse.

Photo of Duff27
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Fizzy, short lived beige head atop a murky brown beer. Lacing is nil.

S- Smell is of peat. Dark fruits?

T- Caramel malts and mouthwatering smokiness, no hop presence. Noticeable boozyness.

M- Coats the mouth, carbonation is low.

D/O- A good scotch ale but not outstanding. In the upper tier as far as ABV for the style. A nice sipper during an evening of any season. Thanks for the bottle MammothBrew!

Photo of lurpy1
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one out based on the funny name. I'm not familiar with the style, what the hell, I'm a gomer.

Crayola brown color. Browner than a true brown. Maybe the glass is just dirty.

The smell is predominantly caramel and toffee. As is the taste, but it's cut nicely with some bitterness so it's not at all cloying. Medium bodied, and these guys did a good job balancing the carbonation.

Good stuff. I've only been able to find Dark Horse's IPAs and Sapient on tap, but would love to park next a keg of this one.

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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,572 ratings.