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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

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1,515 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,515
Reviews: 554
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 108
Gots: 191 | 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:
Beer added by: ypsifly on 01-28-2006

Available September to March.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,515 | Reviews: 554 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Internatbrewlove
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scotty Karate pour with a moderate tan head and a translucent dark brown body. The smell is simply caramel with a hint of coffee. The taste is lovely combination of caramel, mocha and a peaty overtone. There is a fine moderate carbonation that moderate to short in duration. The nearly 10% alcohol content is only minimally perceptible.

This is another outstanding beer by Dark Horse Brewing Company!

Photo of kohoutek
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a hazy, garnet brown with an incredibly short lived head of creme brule' tan. Scotty always seems to carry quite a yeast cake in the bottle. I can never quite get it into the glass cleanly. Aromas of brown sugar, just the right amount of smoky peated malt, grassy sunlit barley fields and a fresh herbaceous spice with dark fruit aromas. Aromas of tannic, oaken leather also step out here and there. Flavors of smoky peat, graham cracker, honey, medjoul date, herbal/neutral hops. A smooth hop bitterness cuts nicely through the sweetness and malty body. The texture of this beer is surprisingly effervescent and dry for such a big beer.

Good stuff. Best aged until the bottles appear somewhat bright. The freshly bottled stuff holds its haze for a while and it can be a bit hot.

Photo of stimulus
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (in a 4 pack) into a pint glass.

A: Pours an opaque brown with a one finger tan head that recedes quite quickly.
S: Caramel and toffee malts, but not much else going on.
T: Very sweet caramel, toffee, roast greet the palate, and a very thin layer of peat lines the finish.
M: Medium carbonation, light, watery body, and smooth finish.
D: The light body, especially considering the high ABV, makes this easy to drink, but it could have been a little less watery/thin. Also, I'm not sure why there isn't more of a peat flavor: I certainly would have enjoyed this much more with more pronounced smokiness. I guess I'd say this leans more towards a Wee Heavy than a Scotch Ale by its flavor profile.

Photo of billab914
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my 2xIPA glass. It poured a dark caramel color with a modest off-white head covering the top of the beer. The head faded away rather quickly and didn't really leave much for lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a sweet malty flavor to it with some caramel and toasted malts coming through. I get just a hint of some roasty flavors to it as well.

The taste is rich with malty flavors. Caramel, toffee and toasted malts come through up front. As you get to the finish the toffee turns a little more roasty with a little coffee flavor to it. I get a pretty good dose of smoked malt in the finish as well, which I really like.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it had some very nice flavors going on. I really liked the addition of the smoke flavors in the finish, it really made it a little more complex and delicious for me. Very nice beer overall and a cool and different take on the style compared to others I've had.

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

A decent-drinking Scotch Ale, I must say. Sly, aromatic malt angle. No (peat-)smoked qualities, thank you. Silky malty/yeasty smell. Carries over in the taste quite well. Dense smoothness to the malt and the feel - maybe a little Belgian. Light fruitiness - I mean light. A tad of a whiskey character in there. Excellent depth to the taste...

Served to me in an absinthe-style, stemmed glass - dug it - wanted, but didn't expect a lil' head (I am versed in the style). Lightly purple-ish reddish brown - thin haze. Whoa! - 9.75%??! It drank a little weighty - malt-wise - on the tongue - counter-balanced/smothered that alc, I guess. Well-made all-around. Doesn't remind me of Scotland, per se, but it doesn't identify itself really as anything other than a Wee Heavy. I'll go with that. I'd choose it again.

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

scotty karate

a 3.5-4 hazy med brown, less than 1 finger off-white head, ring sticks around a while then pfft gone too, practically no lace

s 4-4.5 at first straightforward toasty malt and alcohol, then as it starts to warm the malts open up and reveal a sweetness, along with what seems a touch of peat smoke and some dark candied, brandied fruit.

t 3.5-4 the taste unfortunately does not really live up. it's a shadow of the aroma and needs more malty flavor.

m 3 coats the roof with roasted ethanol shingles, abv can actually be felt. the bodyis a little above medium at best, would prefer a bigger one. carbonation is a little prickly.

d 3 found myself really wanting this to be thicker and richer. the uncloaked sensation of alcohol, a related feature, was too much IMO.

Photo of foureyedgeek
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Pour is pretty much average. Nice looking dark red body, super opaque, but a pretty minimal head and next to no lacing.

Smell picks thinks up a notch: sweet caramel and malty goodness and just the slightest hint of booze.

Taste is good. There is a mild understated smokiness to this beer that is tasty. Not a whole lot of complexity though, especially when held alongside Old Chub or Dirty Bastard

Mouthfeel is full and creamy and just a touch warming, but not too the point of being hot. ABV is well hidden on this one.

Drinkability here is good as well, a sipper for sure, but what do you expect from a big beer like this. Nice and warming on a cold winter's night.

Photo of Lillenk
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Poured out a really nice looking dark red almost brown color. Very dark, thick looking beer with a nice cream head.

Smell was huge. Lots going on. Everything from hops and citrus, to scotch, to grass clippings, and many others.

Taste was good. Scotch ales are not my favorite style but this was a very well crafted beer.

Mouthfeel was a little "thicker" than I would like to see out of any beer, and paired with the high ABV made it hard to drink more than one.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of Urbancaver
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aroma- Dark fruity almost smell with distinct caramel and scotch undertones
Appearance- Very dark red almost opaque, minimal head
Taste- Very complex combination of fruity, earthy flavours with distinct caramel and malt peaking through. The smokiness is almost overwhelming at first but lightens on the second sip.
Mouthfeel- The carbonation is almost too much for the smoothness of the flavours definitely sits well on the palette with minimal detection of an otherwise high alcohol %
Drinkability- Definitely easy to take down (but hits you a bit later). Not too overwhelming but overall very complex and pleasing to the tongue (and stomach)

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

Dark mahogany color with a thin beige head forming on top, then slowly dissolving away to a ring on top. The malt is very malty giving off a strong malty fragrance with a malty aroma lingering on the nose. There are touches of smoke and dried, did I mention there was some malt. The malty dominates the taste (surprise!) from front to back, with a dried fruit and caramel sweetness blending in at the end. A hearty feel, with a chewy texture and clings to the palate. It finishes with a mild warmth from alcohol. This is a beer for a bitter cold night, the malt makes this a comfy beer .

Photo of gfreed
2.23/5  rDev -44.7%
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.

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into Delirium Tremens tulip.

A- Pours a milk chocolate brown that is pretty opaque. A decent finger worth of head that recedes quickly but leaves some ok lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Big amounts of malt up front, some caramel and brown sugar. I also pick up some saltine cracker. The alcohol is completely hidden which is nice.

T- Again the brew is pretty malt forward on the tongue. A little bit of brown sugar and a bready/cracker taste as well. The aftertaste reminds me a little bit of Kix cereal. The alcohol is very well hidden, I would have a hard time telling this beer is 9.75%.

M- Medium to full bodied with good carbonation. A bit dry on the finish and the carbonation makes it feel a little rougher than expected.

D- Nothing really wows me about this beer. The flavors are a little subdued and it is kind of harsh going down. Probably a good thing considering the very well hidden ABV.

Photo of JAXSON
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 rate.

Bottle from Hopscotch. Pours a ruddy brown with a red hue and a small beige head. Nose of rich, gooey chocolate and caramel fudge. Amazing likeness there. A touch smoky. Mouth is creamy, rich, full of that slightly smoky, somewhat bitter chocolate fudge and caramel. Much like eating a cake. Some hop bitterness brings up the back end. A tad watery. This is nice, and I'm pleasantly surprised. Thanks man!

Photo of Bendurgin
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this one as an extra in a trade with ljkeats a while back! Thanks again! Poured into a tulip. Pours somewhat dark toffee brown color with zero head on this. Pretty color but overall this looks kind of dull. I don't know if I really smell this or I think I smell this because this is a Scotch Ale but there seems to be a big scotch aroma that I'm really into with this one. The aroma is coated with scotch, boozy toffee, thick malts and a slight fruity presence. Solid flavors on this one to. Again, scotch with a big malt backbone and a slight spiciness to it a toffee sweetness. This is kickin'! Kind of a light body and low carbonation, this is solid but I think I'd like it more if it were a bit heavier. This drinks real nice for a near ten percent beer. Definitely want more of these for the winter.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber too brownish color with a small light tan head. In the aroma, caramel, and hints of dark fruits and smokiness. In the taste, caramel and small roastiness, small smokiness, and ends with a small alcohol dryness. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry and hints of fruit in the aftertaste. Hides the alcohol and quite nice.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got to say I was really impressed with this one. Pours a dark amber, sort of hazy but not as dark as a porter just slightly dark. Had a half inch of head. Smells of slight bourbon, caramel malts, and faint hops. Taste was amazing for almost 10 percent, you get faint alcohol then a bite of hops to mellow, then the sweet caramel finish. Mouthfeel didn't seem that heavy at all with a medium kind of body. I was assuming the entire time it was around 8 percent! Drink ability is kind of good if I were to find it again but this one was on tap at a place in south side so I may find a bottle of this stuff floating around somewhere. The best part was the tap handle was a shotgun shaped and they said everyone always asked "whats on the shotgun?" Smooth beer.

Photo of uno99
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Didn't take notes on this one, but I'm impressed enough to do a review anyways.

A: I'm not super familiar with scotch ales, but I've had a few before and this one is on par for the style. Nice butterscotch color with not much head. lacing is good however.

S: huge malts. quite sweet. perhaps some peat.

T: Wow. Wonderful chocolate, toffee, and tobacco. Medium fruit backbone. VERY good stuff

M: Perfect medium feel, not sticky at all despite the sweetness. and excellent carbonation.

D: Could drink a few of these for sure...

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

Had on tap at Fatheads Pittsburgh.

A: Pours a hazy amber color with some reddish hues on the edges. Provides a small off white foam head that quickly dissipates. Not much in the way of lacing, some spotty lacing.

S: Very pleasant malt character. Sweet chocolate, caramel, bread, molasses and dark fruit.

T: A very nice malt taste, not overly sweet. The dark fruit hits the palate first. A nice mix of raisins and plums. The chocolate and caramel come out in the middle and the back end and really support the malt profile.

M: Thick slick and creamy. Very smooth on the palate.

D: The alcohol is hidden nicely in this beer. Despite the high ABV, I could enjoy several in a sitting, especially on a cold winter night.

Photo of Wamba
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was recommended to my by the local beer distributor in Peoria, IL. When he discovered that I like scotch ales he said I have to try this one.

This is a very important lesson that everyone should learn. Trust the beer man!

This beer blew me away! The smoothest scotch ale I have ever tried. Sweet, smooth and strong!

Looks a bit like a watery stout and has a very woody aroma. But the taste, oh, the taste! Sweet, smooth and strong! Did I mention that already?

The folks over at Dark Horse have a world class beer on their hands.

Photo of davesway10
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice offering from Dark Horse, of the scotch ales i've had this one is near the top. good stuff. Excellent deep dark body, nice head. taste is smoke and molasses. but what else would you want from this style. I'll continue to buy this one. nice beer.

Photo of BeerEndevour14
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This strong beer does not keep you guessing. It is straight forward, and the Scottish style yeast resembles a Belgian that is balanced and creamy, this beer is great from start to finish. Preferred warm (about 50-52F) vs. cooler(refrigerator; <42F) based on the 12 oz. bottles and great for an evening dinner pair, besides for spicy dish. 9/10 or A- overall.

Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Made the mistake of pouring the whole bottle in the glass so that may affect my review...

A: A dark hazy amber body with red highlights capped with a light tan head that dissipates quickly to a pin stripe ring around the edge of the glass. Also, there is mild visible carbonation that maintains the minimal head.

S: A strong and sweet caramel and chocolate malt aroma with hints of dark fruits, nuts, and molasses. The nose is also warm with booze.

T: The smell is better than the taste I have to say- definitely drink this one at room temperature because it gets better as the drink goes on. A little sour and peaty, but the strong malty flavor takes over the palate easy. Some dark fruits, but not much, as well as nutty notes. No significant aftertaste. The high ABV can be detected in the favor effortlessly as well.

M: Medium body with light carbonation and a lean texture, and a warm finish.

D: I don't have access to this so I don't see myself drinking a lot of these. It's a good beer, but nothing amazing. I would definitely drink it again, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it. This one I think gets better with food, versus by itself.

Photo of soze47
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy reddish brown. Lots of action on the pour, but this one pours like it is very viscous. Carbonation activity persists through out the drinking of this one in the form of very small and slow moving bubbles.

Aroma: Malty for sure, almost like honey wheat bread. It is caramelly too and a bit warm from the booze.

Taste: Curious beer here. Very malty on the onset, almost too sweet, but a sudden burst of hops and spice balance it soon after. Almost no aftertaste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This is an almost miracle beer. It is extremely viscous and almost slimy in your mouth, but it finishes absolutely clean. The flavor here is very robust, but the body and viscousity take it all down on the swallow. Even at 9.75%, this one is very drinkable.

Overall: Some of the main reasons I don't enjoy some Scotch ales is the accumulating sweetness and cloying nature of their bodies. However, this one packs a balance flavor, full body, but manages to avoid my personal pitfalls of the style.

Photo of Duhast500
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pored from a 12oz. bottle into a Guinness/Harp Half and Half pint glass.

The color is a dark black with some maroon/red highlights and and finger of foamy brownish/beige head and a little lacing.

The smell is a bit toasty malts with some chocolate malt flavor kicking in. Some caramel.

The taste is a malt swirl at first, a row of toasty malt flavor that goes into a caramel and chocolate flavor that reminds me of a Rollo candy. Some smoky flavor comes out at the end and it surprising and pleasing at the same time.

The feel of this beer is a pretty easy, drinkable beer. It goes down smooth and is refreshing with a small aftertaste that gives back a caramel flavor.

Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,515 ratings.