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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

579 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 579
Hads: 1,691
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 19.55%
Wants: 125
Gots: 285 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 579 | Hads: 1,691
Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish amber with a lot of rising bubbles. Small finger of off white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A toasty and roasty malt forward aroma with hints of caramel, biscuit, and chocolate. Toasted barley malt with hints of biscuit, caramel, toffee, chocolate, smoke, nuts, and yeast. Also some hints of leather, tobacco, and sweet molasses. Fruit hints of apple, fig, and prune. Also some spice hints of cinnamon. Subtle earthy hop scent. A pretty good malty aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a toasty and roasty malt forward taste with good notes of caramel, biscuit, and chocolate. Upfront bready toasted malt with notes of biscuit, caramel, toffee, chocolate, smoke, nuts, and yeast. Sweet taste of molasses and brown sugar. Also some notes of cinnamon, tobacco, leather, and peat. Fruit undertones of apple, fig, and prune. Light hop presence. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and pretty smooth with a fairly drying finish.

Overall: A very good take on a Scotch Ale. Good toasty and smokey malt flavors with some nice subtle fruit tones.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, almost opaque, ruby-brown coloring with a halo of off-white head. Aromas of caramel sweetness, molasses, chocolate, earthy notes, a subtle booze character, sweet cream, and some vanilla. Smells big and rich! Flavors are sugary sweet and heavily roasted forward, with tangy caramel and sweet cream blending together over a boozy undertone. Highlights of chocolate and molasses dart in and out. There are also some notes of earth and floral highlights there to layer this beer a bit more. Roasted notes throughout, and the increased ABV is hidden very well in this beer. Full and robust in mouth, it remains smooth through to the finish. The aftertaste is rich and sweet, with all of the caramel, nut, and cream notes lingering on subtly. Very tasty beer.

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Photo of Slack
4.51/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bronze in color with about a finger of head. Aroma is dominated by malty sweetness. Am picking up a bit of red wine and earthy notes. Taste is malt, fruit, and peat with very subtle alcohol. Finish is residual sweetness. Mouthful is medium with a nice amount of carbonation and cream. Overall an excellent scotch ale which was very enjoyable and deserving of procuring more.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent bronze color with a modest head of khaki froth that soon dissipates into a veil of frogspawn. Mondo carbonation is just about everywhere. Aroma features tons of caramel, along with toasted bread and some cherry cough syrup.

The taste is bold, coming on sweet and alcoholic at once. The delightfully complex malt profile features caramel, raisins, grape must, candied plums, and brown sugar. Alcohol burn peaks toward the middle before yielding to a sweeter finish, yet still with traces of cough syrup. A palpable stickiness lingers on the lips between sips. A little too much warming and the sweetness becomes almost cloying. Medium body and vigorous carbonation yield a brisk, semi-creamy mouthfeel that’s basically a necessity to cut through the intense sweetness.

Overall, this a supremely flavorful and aggressive scotch ale. Its fruitiness reminds me of Skullsplitter, but more balanced and bolder. Scotty Karate is a testament to what a nuanced and complex style this can be when properly executed.

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Photo of Altrurian
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thin, evanescent head. Deep ruby hue. Aroma of dark dried fruit. Taste is an exemplar of the style, with a sweet fruitiness almost matched by darker malty elements. Creamy feel.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into nonic. Brown liquid with a two-finger tan head that settles to a collar. Aroma is bread, oak, malt, peat, and earth. Taste is sweet malts then leafy hop bitterness. Medium body, chewy texture, light side of medium carbonation, woody leafy drying finish.

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Quick review here --

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A - amber with tinges of red, cloudy, evanescent foam on the forced pour.

S - medium malty sweetness, medium hop aroma, higher peat content here, grassy hop profile.

T - high malt sweetness, caramel, burnt toast, medium-low bitterness. Hops are nearly gone, not sure how old this bottle is, but they've been replaced by high carbonated bitterness.

M - slightly acerbic, high carbonation, alcohol isn't a contributing factor to the astringency, despite the high content.

O - certainly a good beer, a good go-to for a higher alcohol scotch ale that's available pretty much everywhere year round.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the News Room into a pint glass

A: cola brown with a minimal little crown that quickly subsides
S: faint. sweet caramel and toffee as well as some fairly sweet dark fruit. Not much in the way of grain, bread, oats, or anything like that. I don't get any peat or smoke either.
T: wow, that's a sweet malt bomb (but I don't really like sweet in most beers). nicely integrated flavors that are much more pronounced on the tongue than the nose
M: syrupy, a little sticky, smooth, moderate carbonation, hides the alcohol quite well, a little warming at the end...I get a little more breadiness and grain, but it is still dominated by caramel and toffee, some brown sugar, faint sweet dark fruit.

O: My first beer from this brewery, which seems well regarded...seems well made, but it's a lot more sweet than I tend to like. Maybe I'll give it a try from a bottle another time, to see how it compares.

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Photo of spacecake9
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a hazy brown. Nice head to start.
S - Aroma is of caramel and malt.
T - Surprised by the sweetness on the first sip. But you get use to it quickly.
M - Finish gets you a bit of alcohol.
O - This is a good scotch ale. Can't say I will rush out and buy more I'll jump on it if I see it on tap. My first beer from Dark Horse and I'm looking for more!

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Photo of 2beerdogs
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to @WesMantooth for this gem.
Quite good. Pours a murky, peat bogy roil of mud. Beautiful. Slight, loosely packed head of oatmeal colored foam that dwindles quickly.
Smell is of caramelly malt, with hints of roast and toffee.
Taste is slightly sweet, malt gives hints of oatmeal, roast, a bit of peat and slight dried fruit.
Finish is more of the same with the toffee taking a subtle lead in the finish.
Overall, a good, solid Scotch Ale.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a very noticeable red hue.

Vanilla, caramel, earthy, and dark fruits.

Bready, slightly roasted notes, caramel, vanilla, and fruity esters.

Medium-heavy bodied, medium carbonation, sweet, sticky, smooth.

Overall, this one is up there in my favorites for this style.

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Photo of Schimms
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours with beautiful red-brown; thin, creamy head. Very nice lacing.

S: Minimal malt. Maybe it's my nose, but I'm not picking much up in comparison to the taste.

T: Slight fruity, excellent malt. Hides the alcohol well.

F: Perfect creamy mouthfeel, finish, and carbonation balance.

O: Great beer - took the whole four pack to appreciate it's depth.

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Photo of OrangeMen
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours chestnut brown, reddish hues, smoky and hazy. Half finger thick, slight off white head, sopay bubbly. Moderate lacing on sides of glass.
Aroma- Rich caramel and toffee malts, stone fruits, mild but sweet. Slight peaty smokiness, nice earthy quality. Bready, yeasty, rich and full.
Taste- Smoky and toasty malts, nice caramel sugary sweetness. Stone fruits really come through and add a nice sweetness. Bready and rich, full of flavor.
Mouthfeel- Medium mouthfeel, only a slight creaminess. Lower carbonation which is fine for the style.
Overall- Very enjoyable offering for the style. The fruitiness really sticks out the most and adds an undeniable sweetness to the beer. Has a wonderful classic smoky malt base, with nice toasted bread notes and caramel sweetness. Alcohol fairly well hidden, not very pungnant. Nice enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of CHickman
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark chestnut brown/red color with a 1 finger creamy 1 finger tan head that faded and left minimal lacing and a little layer on top. A lot of sediment floating in the brew, with decent sized chunks swirling around.

Initial aroma is of caramel and toffee, followed by dark fruits, smoked grains, peat moss, dark rum and floral herbs or leafs; the sweetness and caramel malt smell is the strongest, but complex and nice to inhale with some syrup and wheat bread trailing. The high ABV was very mild and well controlled, with a slight citrus zest mixed in.

Taste is very similar to the nose but with more earthy flavors, like the beer was poured through dry sticks and then over burnt wood pulled from a campfire. The sweetness mixes well with the charred grains allowing the caramel, maple syrup, toffee, dark fruits and rum to come through with a slight bitterness and then some roasted grains, peat moss, baked leafy floral hops and spruce tips. Nice combination of sweet malts that have enough earthiness to make me want to don a kilt and throw this back.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation, a thin watery feel across the tongue, and a slightly bitter grainy finish that is sweet but not cloyingly sweet. Overall this was a very goof Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy that hid the 9.75% ABV masterfully. I would definitely have this again and recommend trying it.

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Photo of BaronRVH
4.88/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Simply complex... Dried fruits, breads, malts, completely hidden ABV, caramel sweetness. Such a clean finish. This is what I imagine a great wee heavy tastes in Scotland when fresh from a brewery... Hopefully because the ones I've had on this side of the pond aren't this good.

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Photo of SackBlabbath
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Not going to get into detail, but this is by far the smoothest scotch ale I've ever had, and one of the best apart from Backwoods Bastard, but that's a completely different animal.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.21/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a MD snifter

A: Muddled dark brown with a little bit of head, no lacing and no collar.
S: Extremely light, with nothing really standing out. Just a tad of sweet malt.
T: Light on the scotch and flavor. It seems age does not agree with this one. Just a one note type of beer here.
M: Just the faintest tickling of carbonation.
O: I don't really get anything out of this beer. That being said, I did let it warm up for an hour after I opened it. But I did it in the bottle with a wine stopper, however, I did have to pour the beer back into the bottle.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours dark mahogany with a thin off-white head that slowly turns into a frothy lace and a few floating specks.
Caramel and toffee splashed with alcohol, somewhat close to bourbon. Plum jelly, some raisin, sweet nut, buttered toast, faint chocolate. All right.
Caramel, toffee and single malt spirit up front, like a mix of scotch and bourbon. A smokey note, faintly peaty. Raisin, fig, some date, plum and faint blueberry, with a mild jam sweetness. Toasted malt, some butterscotch, brown sugar rock candy, faint toasted chestnut. Finishes with that "spicy, grainy" scotch dry feel and a minimum of bittering hop.
Nice body, a bit sticky and palate-coating, smooth carbonation. Aftertaste has a lot of caramel, a bit of toast, even less dark fruit, but a bit of slightly mouth-numbing alcohol.
A big scotch ale that's a bit linear, i guess almost boring for some, but it was tasty enough for me. Still, not a direct contender with the traditional heavies.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. Freshness date is smeared: ?/10/14

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small center patch of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Very unique heavy toasted malt aroma that actually reminds me of boiling wort, so it's a bit sweet. Slight alcohol tinge plus some dark bread and caramel.

T- Has that charry, smoky Scotch ale flavor but it's much more approachable than others I've had. Moderate bitterness and a little sweetness too. Alcohol is extremely well masked.

M- Slightly slick with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Props to Dark Horse. I don't normally like this style when it's done traditionally but this one is made as such and I really like it.

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Photo of Dogfishnoggen
4/5  rDev +0.3%

hides the EtOH quite well, but no dominant flavor profile, that is, nothing sticks out as far as an amazing flavor. Perhaps a bit sweet but certainly not syrupy. overall, good, but not great.

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Photo of delta490
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clouded deep ruddy brown. There is a thin tan head that dissipates almost immediately. A slight hint of lacing. The aroma is lighter, with some deep roasted malt tones and caramel. The taste really takes the malt and runs with it. There is a great big malt hit, followed by some smoked notes and a little bit of fruit. The body has a nice thickness and a little carbonation.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark reddish-brown with a one-finger off-white creamy head. Light sticky lacing.

S - Aroma of scotch, caramel malts, and dark fruits.

T - The flavor follows the nose. Sweet caramel malts and toffe upfront followed by scotch and some breadiness. The finish has some ripe dark fruits and some light booziness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very soft and creamy mouthfeel.

O - Very nice scotch ale and another strong beer from Dark Horse. Very smooth and drinkable especially at 9.75% ABV.

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Photo of ColdOneKev
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

A - Dark brown, highlights at the edge. Barely any head fades quickly, leaves no lacing.
S - Malt, peat
T - More malt, peat, vanilla, licorice, alcohol burn afterwards
M - Medium, low carb
O - I'm not a huge fan of scotch ales in general. Others have said this is a relatively low flavor scotch ale. So it appeals to me. Glad to have tried.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

12oz bottle from this years release into snifter glass

A- Dark redish-brown. thin ring of head around the enge
S- Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. Butterscotch and tons-o-sugar
T - Not as sweet as the nose, but still pretty sweet. Bit of a strange after taste... probably not going to finish 12 oz
M- Medium

O- Note really impressed for a scotch ale, sorry DH

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Photo of JohnSnowNW
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

I don't know exactly what to say about this beer, so I'll just focus on the important bits.

S: Caramel and dark fruit, but also raw wort (sweet and grainy).

T: Follows the nose, caramel sweetness, dark fruit, raw wort, and more bitterness than the other offerings I've had of the style.

This is an odd one, I homebrew so I'm used to tasting wort before fermentation, and this is very reminiscent. Almost as though they blended this beer with raw wort, odd.

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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 579 ratings.