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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.

1,275 Ratings

(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
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Ratings: 1,275 | Reviews: 522 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alexgash


4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, slightly hazy amber brown body with a thick, long-lasting, khaki head. Rich, malty brown sugar mingles with rummy fruit, charred campfire logs, and spicy hops. Sweetish, toffee-heavy malt flavor is yummy. Roasted, toasted alcohol rolls into a bitter, biscuity, syrupy finish. Full-bodied with a warming glow. Very good.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2006 23:16:15 | More by alexgash
Photo of blackie


4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour gives a low, tan colored head that soon recedes to just a ring around the glass and a small island of carbonation. The beer is a reddish chestnut brown in color.

smell: Upfront are notes of sweet, peaty malts ferried to the nostrils on big waves of boozy ethanol. Raw sugars and the fruits full of them, like date and plum, are found in abundance. I also find hints of milk chocolate and vanilla as well as a woody, bourbony aroma. Just a little hop aroma is noticeable.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the far low side of the medium range, and smooth. The body is slick and full.

taste: Big, highly sweet flavors of peaty and some lightly toasted malts bring to the table notes of dark, sugary fruits including plum and maybe some date. The hop flavor is nondescript and light, with a subtle bitterness lasting into the finish with some sugary flavors. Nice ethanol presence...enough to make itself well known, but not distracting.

drinkability: Based mainly on the aroma but also the flavor, I'd almost call this a Scottish barleywine...very rich and boozy with heavy dark sugars. A pleasure to drink.

12 oz. bottle shipped to me from dirtylou in WI and cellared for a few months

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2006 01:08:13 | More by blackie
Photo of RoyalT


3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a dingy brown in color with a nice brown-white head that somehow formed in this pool of darkish booze.

Smell – The rich sweets and light alcohol dominate the nose. The sweets are dark, like plums, prunes, and apricot pits. The peat is faint and reminds me of beer aged in whiskey barrels. There’s some noticeable malt in the nose as well.

Taste – The sugars explode at the taste, so prepare yourself for that first sip. The smoky character comes out a bit more at the taste as well, but it’s still not what I would consider strong.

Mouthfeel – This is a medium-bodied ale with a light, raunchy alcohol presence but not stinging.

Drinkability – This is a mouth-watering Scottish explosion that will surprise even those familiar with the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2006 02:42:48 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Mitchster


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

Pours out to a cloudy dark amber, forming a creamy soft yello-khaki head with average retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is rich and pleasing with an assortment of rotting apples, dates, sticky amber malts, raisins, a touch of distant smoke and biscuits. As it warms, alcohol becomes quite noticeable. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a big, dense, syrupy body. The taste begins with a smattering of herbal hops, followed by big amber malts, dark rum, rotten strawberries and black cherries, and dark fruits in the middle. The aftertaste is of prunes, leather and tobacco with mild bitterness. Alcohol is noticeable and distinct, but not overly offensive. The finish has distant grain husk and faint overtones of soap.

A big beer as is tradition for Dark Horse. This is closer to a "Double Scotch" as it's so over the top for the style. The alcohol is a touch too aggressive and limits it's drinkability. Despite this, this is a very good brew but I'm not compelled to buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2006 19:17:09 | More by Mitchster
Photo of lou91


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

Thanks to CRJMellor for this sample. This beer poured dark rich and thick and smelled and tasted like it looked. Big malt flavors with hints of chocolate covered fruit and a great alcohol burn. It took me an hour + to drink this and as it warmed it tasted like an old ale. I wouldn’t call this a scotch ale but a nice hybrid of wee heavy, old ale and a bit of Belgian dark ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2006 05:48:15 | More by lou91
Photo of nflmvp


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

Thanks to CRJMellor for this sample.

Poured a dark cola brown with a nice 3 finger head that disappated very slowly.

Smell was sweet and fruity. Perhaps a little caramel too.

Taste was malty, sweet and caramel.

Mouthfeel was moderate to thick. The alcohol was VERY well hidden.

Overall drinkability was good.

Wish I'd have gotten more than one of these in trade.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2006 00:44:15 | More by nflmvp
Photo of meathookjones


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

Body is a very dark brown color with a nice size light tan head. Nice rings of lace clumped around the glass as it was consumed. Plenty of ripe dark fruit sweetness with some alcohol hinting at the strength of it in the aroma. Light earthiness peaks through as well. More ripe fruits upfront in the flavor with a nice backing of earthy smoke. Light alcohol and caramel. Sweet fruit and smokiness on end. Pretty hefty body that’s quite smooth. Goes down quite easy for a big brew. Very nice overall beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2006 19:25:42 | More by meathookjones
Photo of xgrigorix


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

Twelve ounce brown bottle, no dates.

Tawny dark brown. Thin tan coloured head leaves no lace.

Nose is heavy on malt & dark stone fruit.

Tasty malt. Plenty sweet / big caramel flavours. Light fruitiness (touch of plums). Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Off dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2006 02:08:27 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of dirtylou


3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, received via trade from nisjer05

appearance: bottle label features some great artwork. pours a very dark cola-mahogany into a snifter, slightly ruby tinted, sandy beige cap and lacing around the rim...decent retention

smell: big scotch ale aromas...heavy raisin, slightly strong alcohol...sugary sweet malt, big caramel, hints of grain, alcohol soaked plum and apple, dates, fig

taste: taste follows through in a big way from the aromas...this is a full blown scotch ale...alcohol is up front and forceful. a burst of raisin, alcohol infused plums, sweet apples, dry grain, fig, dates, sugary, sweet toasted malt, smooth caramel, toffee, slightly nutt, hot' alcohol presence, warming

mouthfeel: big and gummy, strong alcohol warming presence, medium-full body

drinkability: hindered by the over the top abv

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2006 23:19:30 | More by dirtylou
Photo of ppoitras


4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity... Label is part of the "Guest Artist Label Series, #1 James Mestamaker, Austin, TX."

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the murky red brew. Head quickly fades down to uneven swirly sections of small bubbles, with small amounts of bubbly lace here and there. Aroma is rich hearty sweet dark malt sweetness, heavy on the dark fruit, and prominent alcohol, yet not blow-torch booze levels. Taste is starts with light medium dark grain, hits with the dark fruits, cruises on to the plentiful warming alcohol, and then the aftertaste is the grain coming back and really opening up. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth over the tongue, and drinkability is nice in how this brew handles its abv in a responsible manner. Have to admit the appearance had me wondering, but this one is the winner I had hoped for.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2006 01:35:32 | More by ppoitras
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a bit of haze, which adds an orange hue to the ruby-amber color when held up to the light. The head, which is a sort of dark tan color, is pretty small and fades to a thin layer of bubbles pretty quickly. The aroma is certainly malt focused; I get notes of sweet toffee, some caramel, a malty raisin note as well as some crusty baked sweet bread type notes. The aroma smells like this is a thick malt focused brew, lets see if the flavors tell the same story.

The taste certainly lives up to the aroma, it is thick and concentrated with sweet, though complex, malt notes all throughout. The beer finishes with a touch of alcohol that is only slightly hot, with a touch of astringency. This has a rich, pleasant, almost meaty malt quality to it that is typical of thick malty brews. It makes this almost a meal in a glass. This is a pretty nice beer, the only thing that mars it in the end is that it is a bit too hot and astringent in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2006 01:11:47 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of weeare138


3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for this…
Appears a hazy chestnut brown with a small white head. Small spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, toffee, caramel, toasted nuts, and smoked peat.
Taste is of the same aromas with the peat standing out.
Mouthfeel is sugary with a light alcohol bite and oak running along the tongue. Very well balanced brew. No sign of that 9.75% abv.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2006 23:03:19 | More by weeare138
Photo of walleye


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

from the bottle. poured a nice garnet with a small off white head. aroma, fruity alcohol, brown sugar, caramel, if the bottle didn’t say scotch ale I would of sworen it was a barleywine. flavor raisins, brown sugar, dark fruits, a nice kick of alcohol, malts at the finish with a hint of boitter sweet chocolate. good beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2006 04:25:28 | More by walleye
Photo of DrJay


3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, deep ruby, almost purple colour. Short cap of tan foam that fell quickly, leaving behind a bit of lace. Light alcohol in the nose, along with a bit of apple and pear fruit, mild malt and toffee. Caramel apple up front, mild bitterness, with alcohol apparent in the finish. Plenty of toffee too. Full body, medium/low well-integrated carbonation, creamy texture. Quaffable, given the abv. Tasty and an interesting take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2006 01:13:52 | More by DrJay
Photo of numenor1

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with red edges and substantial although shortlived head. Minimal lacing. Smell is very peaty, meaty, deep and raisiny. Taste is the smell and more, very very sweet, cloying even, though the warming tones that down substantially. A mountain of caramelized deep malts overload from the start as the peat and alcoholic spice battle to bring it in check the rest of the way through. Slightly piny hops, though very slight. I'd prefer a bit more, and less sweetness. Some white pepper through the peaty finish. Not bad. Mouthfeel is medium full with soft carbonation, but a definite sipper.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2006 02:13:46 | More by numenor1
Photo of TheBungyo


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown-red, with nary a hint of head. Taste is Very sweet, and it almost reminds me of sweet beet sugar, plums and caramel. It may sound strange, but man this is good. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, very nice. My brother teases me that all of these beers have names that sound like a D&D guy came up with them ... I suppose Scotty Karate bucks that trend. Anyway, this is a damned tasty beer. Thanks to Northertimber for my bottle!
I'd like to add that while I'm not an expert on this style by any means, This is one of the best of this style I've had the pleasure of drinking.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2006 09:01:33 | More by TheBungyo
Photo of Shovelbum


4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a creamy thin tan head over deep brown rosy hued body. Head rapidly recedes. Aromas of rich sweet malt and vinous complexity. Similar in the flavor department: big malty sweetness upfront- almost Belgian candi-like. Joined by flavors of dark ripe fruit. Mild smokiness and hop bitterness provide a futile attempt at reining in this malty tour de force—as it should be. Full bodied, low carbonation. Mouthfeel borders on slickness, but the mild bitterness pulls it out.

This is a big beer in the malt department and sweet nectar from the gods for malt heads like myself. This is just about as balanced as an over the top IPA is for hops (Dark Horse crooked tree being a nice example). That being said there is a nice harmony within the malt flavors with the mild bitterness providing a counterpoint, whose absence would spell disaster for this brew. An amenable mix with my Scottish blood, but others may be a bit put off by the high (read heavenly) malty sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2006 02:26:08 | More by Shovelbum
Photo of proc


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

A very good offering from Dark Horse. This one pours out to a copperish-red with a slight head. The aroma of fruit and light molasses hits the nose. The taste is rock solid and reminds me of an old ale. There is hints of bourbon, coupled with a light plum taste that gives way to a warming, yet hidden ABV. A great version of a Scottish Ale and one that is a bit different from others I have tried in this style.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2006 02:12:53 | More by proc
Photo of Frozensoul327


3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A really good Scotch Ale. Pours out to a frosted orange red color with a short head of foam that maintains a thin layer of bubbles over the beer. Some notes of lacing, and a medium level of carbonation. Sweet aromas of raspberry, hops, corn laced malts, caramel. Some herbal earth elements as well. Nice. Taste is medium to medium full bodied; buttery malts and sharp hops develop into a fruity, estery, butterscotch mix, with some herbs dancing about the tongue. Mouthfeels is medium bodied, kind of slick and buttery, with the alcohol making it's presence noted with a slight warming on the palate. Fair drinkability, as this is a sipper, and one will do just fine. Nevertheless, this a darn good beer, and one i'd like to have again. Worth seeking out and trying.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2006 00:48:47 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of macpapi


3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As if in response to recent postings critical of their remedial bottle art, Dark Horse Brewing has apparently hired a guest artist to create the label for this Scottish Ale. The scene depicted is best described as chaotic. There is a Viking-helmeted, guy wearing dark-rimmed glases, overlooking a melange of musical instruments and other nefarious looking random items. Interesting to say the least, if mainly incomprehensible. Anyway....

Scotty K. pours a medium-brown to amber color. Looks somewhat maroon when held up to the light. The head is small and dissipates quickly. Lacing is pretty impressive.

Smells of malt and caramel. A bit of coffee aroma is there as well. Pretty normal for the style, and nothing overwhelming.

Taste is of deep, roasted malt. There is also a nice sweet toffee kick. Alcohol is definitely notable, with a burning sensation on the palate.

Mouthfeel is full, somewhat bitter and potent. Burn of alcohol adds to the robust presence of S.K.S.A. on the tongue.

Overall, this is a very nice beer. Full-bodied, sweet and complex. Would think it has to be a sipper at nearly 10 percent abv. But the smoothness and tasty balance make it pretty easy to drink. Another good effort by D.H.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2006 13:56:28 | More by macpapi
Photo of putnam


3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Gingerbread, rootbeer and dark rum aromas join maraschino cherry and bitter almond. The liquid is brown with minimal accumulation of foam on top. A big mouthful of chewy oatmeal cookie flavor and Malmsey spiked with grappa. Raisins, sweet brown spices. Hard, sooty bitter tannins close the fruit exhibition and allow alcohol flavors to dominate. I might consider serving this with campfire roasted nuts and Maytag blue cheese for a rustic, drunken soiree.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2006 21:13:34 | More by putnam
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this at the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Fest.

A: Brownish-orange, with only a hint of head.

S: Very fruity (bubble-gum odour like British yeast).

T: It starts out really fruity, then just as you start to perceive the maltyness, BAM! the boozy alcohol kicks in and overwhelms the tastebuds. Unique.

M: Moderate to full body, moderate carbonation.

D: Too boozy. The sample was enough.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2006 02:57:59 | More by Derek
Photo of CRJMellor


4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a vivacious amber, brown and maroon. Large, airy off-white head forms and leaves a ring of lace on the pint.
Aroma of peat, caramel, hint of butterscotch and some pine cone hoppiness.
Flavors are all about the caramel with a twaerk of sweet butterscotch cut by an aggressive hoppy, peaty ending.
Mouthfeel is very pleasant and coats the palate with a lingering sweetness that is cleaed with just a hint of warming alcoholic pop as it warms in the pint.
Drinkability is insanely good. hard to believe this is the adverstised 9+% ABV. I could drink this all day and enjoy every last drop.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2006 23:27:48 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of montageman


3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a goblet - nice brown/amber color. The initial smell reminded me of wine, but as the beer warms, the alcohol seems to become more prominent. Taste is sweet at first then seamlessly burns as you swallow. "Tastes like burning..." There is some mild carbonation, but the mouthfeel is nothing special, actually it's sort of sticky.

I was impressed at first, but after thinking about it, it could be much better. This is my first scotch ale - I'd like to try others for comparison's sake.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2006 03:14:08 | More by montageman
Photo of ypsifly


3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Undated 12 oz with a label that is a departure from the usual 6th grade art assignment gone wrong. This one features borders, abv, and states that it is part of the "Guest Artist Label Series #1 James Mestamaker Austin, Texas". The label features a Ralph Steadmanesque picture of Scotty Karate on stage performing on drums, a banjo, a three stringed bass, and three effects peddals. Oh and he has five arms.

The beer is poured into a tulip.

Dark reddish mahogany with a thin head of tan that quickly turns into a veiled ring. Not much lace to talk about.

The nose is mostly sweet malt with solvent alcohol. Butterscotch in the background, but the heat is almost searing. Nasal problems? Ditch the Vicks Inhaler and waft this under your nose.

The taste is not near as off balance as the nose. Lots of sweet caramel malt upfront with a hint of butterscotch. Some hops do jump in briefly and add a touch of dryness to a very warm finish. By the nose I thought the booziness was going to roast my insides, but it came off a lot smoother. The more I sip, the more balanced it becomes. Maybe the nose made me a bit timid.

With the exception of the nose, this is a solid beer for fans of the style and those who just love big beers.

Big full mouth with a wee bit of residual oil. This is a sipper. I could have two before moving on to something not so intense.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2006 04:29:49 | More by ypsifly
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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,275 ratings.