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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.

1,352 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,352
Reviews: 527
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 107
Gots: 136 | 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: 1,352 | Reviews: 527 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pointman
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From the pour to the last drop, this is a quality Scottish Ale.

Poured into goblet. Ok pour, light head with the bubbles going non-stop, lt lacing. Nice reddish brown color with a slight creamy head. Slightly cloudy and a constant effervesence.

Nice malty nose.

Excellent malts, caramel and milk chocolate on the first taste with a strong dry finish. Not too much of an alcohol overtone, which is nice, too many Scottish Ales have an overbearing alcohol presence.

Overall, an excellent strong Scottish Ale.

Dark Horse is becoming one of my favorite brewers here in Michigan, and there is a lot of strong competition.

Pointman, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of westweasel
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

The appearance a dark amber and cloudy, with a few chunks on the bottom. There is also the thinest ring of beige bubbles around the edge. No lacing left along the glass.

The aroma contains caramel, milk-chocolate fudge, and a little bit of raisin. The taste is filled with caramel mostly, along with that milk-chocolate fudge, and toffee. There is a notable bitterness in the finish that lingers. Following the style there is no hop flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium-to-full with moderate carbonation.

This is a very drinkable Wee Heavy. One of the better ones I've had of which I could drink a significant amount.

westweasel, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
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

brentk56, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Mar 29, 2008
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This sits on the murky side of translucent, pancake syrup brown with minimal head.
The smell is of those packaged honey-buns, drizzled with bourbon and a splash of malibu, with a suggestion of a cigar lounge ashtray.
Begins with a big blast of caramel and Bacardi. THat booze is known yet not at all hot. It then succumbs to tasting just like the smell. Which is pretty fucking nice for a change. SOme notions of pipe tobacco and grapes on their way to being raisins surface for brief moments.
Mouthfeel is somewhat dirty and gritted which is what you want.
As far as drinkability goes, the 9.75%abv keept under control, but is not hidden, which is fitting if you've ever met Scotty. That said, this probably isn't your 9am beer. But today, it is mine, suckas.

Photo of david131
2.7/5  rDev -33%
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 Jason
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Jason, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of tmitch75
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Newly available in Chicago (I've been waiting for this brewery for quite some time). Purchased in a four-pack at Binny's in Buffalo Grove.

Pours a beautiful brown color with a little burnt orange glow under the light.

Sweet and roasty smell. It also smells thick.

Tastes caramelly with a roasty and peaty flavor. Tastes delicious.

Thick, full body. Almost like a milkshake. Excellent mouthfeel.

This is an awesome beer. I love the style and this beer is everything I love about it. Simply a great beer.

Tasted on 2/25/08.

tmitch75, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of blakesell
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Gravity Head '08 in New Albany, IN. Poured from the tap handle into a 10oz glass.

Appearance- Beer pours maple syrup dark with no real head at all. Clear with slight bubbles on the sides. Some clear oil slick coating over the top. I have no idea what that is.

Smell- Smokey and thick with malt. No hops. Peppery, cinnamon sugar and maple. What the hell? This thing smells funny, not like a scotch ale at all, just funny. Earthy and peaty as well, so I guess it has some scotch ale traits, but not like would be expected with all these other flavours in here.

Taste- Pepper comes through on into the taste. Malty and thick just like the nose suggested. A slight sourness that is entirely welcome to me. Smokiness and peat malt comes through on the swallow.

Mouthfeel- Not as thick as would be expected. I wonder if that strange oil slick over the top has something to do with that. Oily, medium bodied and not highly carbonated.

Drinkability- Good drinkability, not warming, smooth and unique. Another all day pounding delicious animal of a beer.

blakesell, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

BEERchitect, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of drpimento
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

overall a pretty damn good pow beer. Except for the initial quick flash of a weird flavor itsa superb scotch ale. Nice small head with good lace. Hazy dark brown almost opaque color. Peatish characteristics. Hints of booze. No hop. Estery malty finish. Rich body.

drpimento, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of Slynger
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy mud puddle brown with an orange haze, and no real attempt at a cap.

Sweet caramel and toffee aroma. Musty, smoky and earthy as well.

Heavy and flat without much carbonation. The taste is much the same as the smell. Some sweet and bitter caramel and toffee. A light amount of funky sourness bridges the gap between sweetness and musty, smoky, earthy bitterness.

I was not too impressed with this one after my first bottle. I am kind of hoping it went bad somewhere down the line.

Slynger, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of BMoney575
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 2-8-08

Pours a meaty and yeasty deep red/brown, with lots of little floaters. No head, no lacing.

Smell is big, sour fruit, apple cider, with a malty, peaty background. Very complex, very earthy. Outstanding.

Taste is super sweet, fruity, but with a huge peaty bitterness. Very dirty and very intense. The alcohol adds a slickness to the finish, which is woody and smoky.

Mouthfeel is different, almost no carbonation, very thick and viscous.

Drinkability is not so good, heavy sweetness and big alcohol.

Overall, the most intense Scotch ale I've had. Good, but only if you're in the mood.

BMoney575, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of ZAP
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Muddy brown...pours flat...no head...

S-Nice aroma...sweet dark fruits (plums, berries, bing cherries), a big earthy component, some cinnamon spicing, and just a hint of woody smoke..

T-Sweet with the dark fruits again leading the way....not a typical wee heavy flavor...there is no peatiness and just a mild hint of some woody smoke....to be honest seems more of an ale version of a doppelbock....

M-Low carbonation makes this too drinkable...the ABV is nowhere to be found..

D-I wish this had a bit more carbonation...I don't mind it on the lower side but this is pretty flat...tasty but not memorable....good but not great....I'm glad I tried it and I enjoyed it but I am not making plans to seek out more of this...

ZAP, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of CortexBomb
3.1/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pour is murky brown, almost like prune juice. No head to speak of. The nose offers up intense dark fruit aromas...plums, with caramel in the background. An alcohol edge and warming is present even on the nose.

Taste starts out with figs and caramel. Very malty. Off sugary. Slight earth flavour. Decent but not remarkable. Alcohol is fairly big on the finish.

The mouth on this, decent, but certainly not impressively thick for the style and ABV. Some tingles, but nothing special. The drinkability score reflects the my overall impression combined with my liklihood to rebuy and how it compares against other locals. It's a decent scotch ale, but it's just about the bottom of the heap for MI.

The bottom line: Dark Horse has some hits and some misses with me, and this is one of the misses. The beer is passable, but there are a number of other local options that I favour that are in the same price range (i.e.: Dirty Bastard, Arcadia Scotch Ale) and have more of what I'm looking for.

CortexBomb, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

oberon, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of zeff80
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

zeff80, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of baos
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into Atlas mason jar.

A:Cloudy reddish dark amber Lots of stuff floating around with a weak one finger head that dissipates down to a tiny sheen of white. Some lacing.

S: Scorched caramel and vanilla rum. Pretty strong alcohol smell.

T: Caramelly hoppy goodness. Ends dry. Pretty good beer I'm sad its retired and I can't get anymore.

M: Not too bad maybe a bit light.

D: Drink away boys!

and girls

baos, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of lightindarkness
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A - Deep hazy reddish brown with an off-white head that doesn't stick around. Consistent carbonation release.

S - Alcohol, caramelly malt, roasted nuts, not too much smell altogether.

T - Nutty on the tongue. Roasted cereal grains, slight caramel and earthiness at the finish. Some bitterness rises at the end as well. Grains come through as it warms, also becoming a bit sweeter. Not a lot to say about the taste overall, no syrupy thickness, not too much sticky sweetness, mostly balanced with stronger middle toned tastes than high or low end fullness.

M - Smooth, somewhat dense at the beginning, sticking a little in the mouth and finishing a bit lighter.

D - Pretty good. Lacks some depth of flavor, but a good beer.

lightindarkness, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of enfield249
2.3/5  rDev -42.9%
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 TheodorHerzl
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at MacNiven's in Indianapolis.

It is served in a snifter and pours a deep chocolate hue with slight ruby highlights and a minimal off-white head. The nose is a combination of sweet malt, caramel, dark fruits, and more than a touch of alcohol with no hops to speak of. The flavor profile is very sweet, almost cloying, combining flavors of caramel, toffee, dark fruit, and toasted malt. The sweetness is really overdone for my liking here. It is medium bodied and almost a little chewy on the palate. The alcohol warmth on this is not well hidden and is what I would consider "boozy," but the alcohol is quite high on this beer

TheodorHerzl, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of tavernjef
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deepy cherrywood crossing into mahogany color with a murky glow. Slim, creamy, thick capping of sandy light brown sits and hardly moves from its place. Light, glazing lace in a slight crust of icing spottyness.

Aroma is of toasted malt with a sweet breadyness touch and tameness. Some slight toffee and cinnamon spice are noted. Some sweet warming heat begins to show as it sits a while and then takes over from there.

Taste is of paled, yet sweet sided toasted malt, breads, fluffy cookies, dark fruit notes of date and raisin, scantly peppered with blackberry, cherry, and currant. Lightly dryish into the finish as it goes with a very light fluff of cinnamon bread cake and maple drizzlings.

The feel is just below medium but carries a decent fluffy build of malty sweet character that slips in the effects of dark fruity skins cooked in cake. Semi warming and filling. Pushes the belly out with a late fulfilling warmth and toastyness.

Drinkably smooth, delicately rich in flavor and body, and subtle with a nice warming ascent. Pretty solid.

tavernjef, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of zdk9
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I believe this is my first taste of a wee heavy, so it'll be an interesting review.

A- Pours a dark and cloudy light mollasses color. Just a film of head and just a small pocadotting of lacing.

S- Carmel and a little more carmel. There's some hoppiness just in 'aftersmell', very earthy.

T- Carmel taste hits the forefront of my tongue, accompanied by brown sugar. There is some slightly citrusy hoppiness, with bitterness in the back of the tongue. Interesting but somewhat one-demensional.

M- Very syrupy, with just enough carbonation to cut through.

D- A decent beer, not something that I would prefer over other dark horse offerings, but maybe I'll change my mind after some more wee heavy examples.

zdk9, Dec 03, 2007
Photo of Blakaeris
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep mahogany with amber highlights. Head is a slight ring.

Aroma is very smokey, peaty, caramel malt.

Taste is generous caramel malt up front. Sweet, brown sugar with orange notes and toffee. Finish has an amazing smokey quality along with a pleasant warming alcohol sensation.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite chewy.

A very flavorful and interesting brew. One of the best scottish ales I've had. Get this one. Very smooth, great caramel smokiness. High ABV is dangerously well hidden.

Blakaeris, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of bashiba
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dirty brown with copper highlights, slightly cloudy and a thin soap ring head.

Smell is great, a nice big malty sweet odor, almost desert like with hints of smoke, chocolate, and caramel.

Taste is great, big smoked malt flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel and a bit of earthy hops, a minor bit of noticeable alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily with a bit of a dry and warm finish.

Very drinkable for a 9.75ABV beer, Love it, The only thing I didn't like was the shockingly bad label, but I just won't look at it and put all of them in my fridge backwords.

bashiba, Nov 29, 2007
Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,352 ratings.