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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

566 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 566
Hads: 1,627
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 5.78%
Wants: 117
Gots: 254 | FT: 13
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: 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: 566 | Hads: 1,627
Photo of Dogbrick
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a translucent orange color with a thick and fluffy white head that dissipates slowly. Spotty lacing. The aroma is grassy and yeasty, and a friend mentioned that it also smelled like an opened packet of ketchup which is 100% true. Light-bodied with flavors of apple and citrus, plus yeast and spices. The finish is tart and fruity with a lingering spice character. Refreshing and good all around. (411 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy dark brown color with no head or lacing, but there was a ton of visible carbonation for a short while after the pour.. The smell is an unobtrusive sweet malt with a light, sort of barrel aged fragrance. The mouth feel is rather light bodied and lightly carbonated. There is a small footprint from alcohol, but the 9.75 ABV is a real sleeper. The flavor is sweeter and at first chocolate then dark fruit and caramel. I'm not getting much roasted malt until the finishing breath. A reasonable drinker; not at all what i was expecting. (537 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found at Bello Vino Markets in Ann Arbor Michigan. Scotch Ale is a favorite style of mine so I hoped for great things here. It is not bad. This beer certainly needs to be allowed to warm. I also think tis is a beer that will do better with some aging.

Appearance: Pours a muddy brown color with some ruddy hues a small instantly fading head and no lacing.

Smell: Malty brown sugar spices and dark rum like alcohol, wood and slight peatyness.

Taste: There is an over ripe dark fruit attribute a slightly sour nip and alcohol showing through. The underlying body is sugary with caramel and brown sugar raspberry cherry prune and butterscotch toffee and plenty of spices while the alcohol prance around on the palate.

Mouthfeel: It is hot and boozy medium body that feels big with the prickles on the tongue.

Drinkability: This is certainly a nightcap sipping beer. It is tasty but too hot at the moment. I really want to put one aside for a year or two and see what happens.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (1,010 characters)

Photo of BlindPig
4.77/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Thin airy tan head ontop of a muddy dark brown body.
S- Alcohol, big earthy tones, some grass hops, big malt body, some dark fruits, maybe just a hint of cherries, and there is just something I can't pin point.
T- YUM! A very nice blend of all the different flavors (which follow the aroma). Nothing is over powering which is VERY surprising sayings its 9.75% ABV. The alcohol does warm the back of throat but very smoothly and then gets hot after awhile but it is a soothing hot (kind of like a heating blanket where it slowly gets warm until it is pretty hot but it feels really nice). The big earthy tones linger on from start to finish with a nice dry aftertaste too. Smoke is buried in with all the flavors. Light bitterness lingers on but not much hop flavor besides few hints of grass. Cherries do come through along with some other fruits. Maybe some raisins? Just very complex with tons of layers to it. Just amazing.
M- Medium t full body with low carbonation which helps to make it a smooth feel. Also has the sticky feel to it from the raisins or grapes?
D- Just a great beer. I hope I can get my hands on some more of this before it is not to be found any more. It would also be interesting to see how this would be with more age on it. Not sure if it would just start to go down hill or if it could get even more rounded and complex (which would be hard to do). (1,379 characters)

3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off let me just say that the label artwork is really cool.

A very vigorous pour gets only a skim of a quick fading tan head. Body is a ultra dark brown and when held to light it shows a little murky hue. Super sweet malty nose includes a tidal of dark ripe fruit notes, it comes almost cordial like. Silky sweet richness coats the entire mouth on the first sip. Drinkability is smooth and enjorable. This one may be slightly flat due to lack of carbonation. Mouthfeel shines with roasty malt. A very solid scotch ale overall. (534 characters)

Photo of mntlover
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a murky cloudy brown with reds showing thru, the small tannish head falls to a ring quickly.

Aroma is nice big and sweet, with lots of rum soaked fruits, molasses with brown sugars roaming freely mingled with light spices. You can tell this is one big brew by just enjoying the aroma.

Taste is wow really lots of sugars roaming here, in fact they try to dominate all, all hail king molasses. Some fruity flavors try to sneak thru but come out more rum soaked the fruity. But from the smell would have thought it would be more alcoholic but its not. Finish has some light spice mingle din the big sweet molasses/brown sugars. A big brew here but not to complex, good but too one sided sweet.

Mouthfeel is not as big as you would think say a big medium here, nice sugary feel with mellow carbonation.

Drinkability is ok too one sided for me, and probably pricey too, but glad I got too try it. Want to thank merlin48 for this bottle. (949 characters)

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed April 5, 2007. 12 Oz Bottle. A very barleywine-esque aroma with intense, deep malt character in apple wine, special B, light pipe tobacco, raisins, cream, walnuts and some port-like fusels. Bright, alive and rich. Pours a ruddied pale brown, with a rim of creamy off-white. Flavor finds warmer ground in a field of sweet alcohols, figs, middle malts, including a bit of roast in a smoky wisp of coffee dredge and cocoa powder, adding some unique depth to the beer. Not thin bodied, nor heavy. A pretty nice body, actually, well balanced by the soothing roast edges and a lemon-pepper hop smack. Great caramelization and nice construction. A bit of yeast climbs in the backseat as we fade down a dusty road. Thanks Shaun! A quite fun Scotch Ale! (764 characters)

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

12oz. bottle

Slightly hazy, dark amber/orange color. Modest, light tan head. No lacing, decent legs.

Aroma of a malt bomb, sweet & fruity. Honey & peaches. Vanilla. Earthy & peaty.

Taste very similar to aroma, sweet more than bitter. Caramel and sweet wheat bread. Tastes a bit like scotch, but much more mellow. Tea flavors. Touch of herbal bittering at the finish.

Medium + in body. No to low carbonation. Not drying.

Overall, pretty good and true to style. A bit sweet for my tastes, but a nice change up. Sipper for sure. Alcohol incredibly well hidden. (572 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cool label illustration of a crazed hillbilly one-man-band.

Pours a ruddy brown tone into a tulip glass, with deep vermillion highlights under the light. One finger of foam is formed, that subsides in a few minutes. Tiny spots of lace, not much since the glass wasn't completely dry. Stubborn layer of yeast dregs in the bottle.

Slight sweetness in the nose, banana, a little nutty. Reminds me slightly of a Dopplebock after tasting it. Very malty and earthy, toffee, with a nuttiness that comes through again in the first sip. There's a restrained but pleasant hit of smoky peat, that becomes dry in the finish. Alcohol is somewhat hidden for the high ABV.

Slightly sticky and dry in the aftertaste, just ok. Carbonation is a touch high at first, but smoothes out as it sits in the glass for a bit. I've never had more than one at a time, but a hearty drinker sure could. (884 characters)

Photo of grub
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

got this one from autumnaldave in a recent trade. thanks dave!

12oz bottle.

pours medium brown, slightly reddish when held to the light, with a bit of dense tan head that drops fast and leaves no lace.

aroma is nice. lots of smoke. light caramel. biscuit malt.

taste is nice. light smoke. low bitterness level. chewy biscuit malt. bit of toffee and caramel. touch of alcohol. light roast. straight forward, but wholly enjoyable.

mouthfeel is great. low carbonation level and big chewy body are perfect.

drinkability is great. i wouldn't guess this was over 5% abv. well balanced and very enjoyable. thanks dave! (629 characters)

Photo of gmcfarre
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a traditional pint glass

A - Dark amber colored with minimal head and therefore minimal lacing.

S - Heavy malt with oaked, caramel flavors and good portions of alcohol. Spicy alcohol at that. Dark fruits make an appearance, especially raisin.

T - Again, heavy malt with lots of woody, sweet flavors. Touch of raisin and a good deal of alcohol.

M - Smooth with minimal carbonation and a nice alcoholic bite.

D - Alcohol seems more present than it should be in a beer of 9.75abv, making this at times seem like a weak whisky. Still, its an interesting beer that is tasty and enjoyable if the flavors hit your sweet spot. (658 characters)

Photo of BitteBier
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky, dark caramel color. The head bubbles up relatively slowly to form a thin layer and then abruptly breaks up into nothingness. The nose is strong--unabashedly malty and sweet with alcohol clearly there as well. Dark, ripe fruit comes through too. The taste follows suit, with sweet malts quickly yielding some space to dark fruit and alcohol. The malts invoke a dark, whole grain roll. This one clings to the mouth and tongue but finishes with a surprising bit of crispness. Goes down dangerously easily. (517 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
2.85/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A nice golden orange mahogany color topped with a very small white head that disappears way too soon.

Aromas are sweet amber malts, brown sugar, lots of dark fruits (plums, prunes, raisins, etc) and a hint of alcohol. More of a peat than a smokey aroma is present.

Taste is very sweet and syrupy dark fruits...almost cloying as it coats the tongue. A little smokey peat tries to come through at the end but gets overpowered with strong alcohol. As it warms and as you drink it and the palette adjusts, more of the smoke flavors come through. Initial cloying sweetness never dissipates, however.

Mouthfeel is cloying syrup.

Aftertaste is slightly smokey and strong alcohol. (684 characters)

Photo of stouty1
3.1/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Must have gotten a bad bottle. Picked this up at the brewery in March. No head and flat. Ruby red highlights that glows orange around the rim. Smells of dark chocolate with caramel. Very malty with a nice bitter finish that stings the tongue. I will try again and hopefully change my review. (291 characters)

Photo of nlmartin
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer was served in a imperial nonic.

Appearance: The beer has a mahogany coloration with orange notes of coloration. Major chunks are floating in the beer. The head of the beer has a biege coloration. The head had minimal retention.

Smell: The beers aroma is a very pleasing melange of smells caramel maltyness, peat, smoke, fruit apples and plums, spicey plums. In short this beer smells really good.

Taste: The beer delivers a major vanilla caramel malt bomb. The maltyness combines with a tart fruityness. The sweetness of the beer is kept in check by a combintation of peat, smoke, spicey alcohol, cloves and other spices.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer has a fat malty body. The beer is full bodied and very smooth. The beers carbonation is on the low side but not problematic. This is a very easy to drink beer. If you love a big malty beer treat you will love this beer. Unfortunately I found this beer at Kahns in Indianappolis. I will search in my neck of the woods for this beer. (1,011 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a faint head.

Aromas are sour, dusty, of stewed fruits, and a bit of alcohol.

Taste is surprisingly sweet, and restrained. Not overpowering at all like the nose suggested. There is a fruity apple crispness on the first sip, and then the beer settles into a tart and creamy finish.

Mouthfeel is nice, a bit light, but still better than average.

A very easy to drink Scotch Ale. The alcohol is barely noticed in the flavor. I'd love to have another.

Bottle courtesy of Indybeer. Thanks again! (536 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: Opaque, chestnut colored body with orange hues. Bubbly, khaki-colored, one finger head recedes quickly, but maintains an unbreakable ring and skim all the way to the bottom of the glass.

S: Stellar aromas of sweet caramel malt, and peat with some tart fruit and hops thrown in for good measure. Earthy and natural.

T: Malty, one-two punch of caramel and smoky peat. Some earthy spice, tart apples, overripe dark fruit, and chocolate during the middle and then the finish turns sweet and slightly bitter.

M: Medium bodied and smooth. Sweet, smoky, tangy, and bitter. Great combination of flavors and feelings.

D: A very nice Scotch Ale. Just the right amount of sweet, spicy, and smoky. Very real and natural flavors. Sometimes the "smoke" in Scotch Ales, to me, tastes like a phony flavoring. This seems very real and subtle and is very enjoyable. Unfortunately, with this much alcohol, this is not sessionable. Although, the brewers at Dark Horse did a commendable job of burying the alcohol flavors and aromas. (1,085 characters)

Photo of marcobrau
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A light to medium brown Scotch Ale that pours with enough foam to create a quarter-inch beige head that falls to a collar of foam. This beer smells of a single malt with raisins, dates and alcohol. The mouthfeel is very smooth with a luxurious caramel malt flavor laced with a light bitterness that builds toward a surprisingly dry finish. Bitter roasted coffee with cream flavor. This beer picks a punch, so be careful! (420 characters)

Photo of demcorhip
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost opaque, deep chestnut coloured ale, with deep amber hues at the edges of the glass where the light passed through its substantial body. Solid two finger, light tan coloured head is supported by a mild level of finely bubbled carbonation. Thin sheets of lacings gradually returned to the liquid in my glass as i drank this tasty brew.

Rich malty aromas of toffee and plum, honey, hint of walnuts, vanilla, and cocoa also present. Alcohol also evident on the nose, as well as notes of smokey clove spice. A touch of lemon and earthy grassiness also present.

A tasty, rich malt bomb. Will have to take this head to head with Dirty Bastard some day. Loads of toffee with hints of butter and vanilla, notes of fresh dark fruits, mostly plum with lesser amounts of cherry, honey, and a touch of cocoa powder. Mild smokey clove like spicey note also present, and finishes in a mild earthy touch of lemony hops.

A big, almost full bodied, malty brew with an almost sticky, malty sweetness. Close to cloying, but its creaminess and and light spiciness keep it in check. It also helps to balance out this rich malt bomb, along with the touch of earthy hops, although this is definitely a malt forward brew.

Quite drinkable, although more than one of these rich malty treats would be a challenge. Definitely too big and rich to be session fare, but it makes a great sipper on a cold night in April. Will gladly drink more of this sweet malty treat. (1,507 characters)

Photo of schusterbauer
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i don't care what a scotch ale is supposed to be. this is enjoyable beer. swampy thick brown liquid that looks like it should taste like a fudgesicle. strong boozey aromas laced with fruitiness and wood. red fruit, strawberries, wet soil, heavy malts, fermenting fruit salad (as opposed to canned cocktail). warming alcohol burn is present in the throat, much more so than i would guess from the flavors. drank two of these on an early spring night with Gruyère cheese, strawberries, and garlic-stuffed olives. no complaints here! (531 characters)

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a small glass. This brew looks real promising. The liquid is a dark copper with nice carbonation. The head is small of white and leaves just a bit of lace.

The smell is good a woody sweet malt. Not much alcohol I expected more.

The taste is not as bold as I expected, slightly smoky malt and a bit of butter scotch.

The mouthfeel is good nice body, could use a bit more carbonation.

The drinkability is a bit off as this beer has a hard time going anyplace it is rather mondaine, does not stand out and make a stand. It kind of stands tall in the back and watches the action. MK (620 characters)

Photo of mcallister
3.2/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Basically what you would look for in a Scottish style. Nothing extraordinary but it is a nice looking brew. A burnt caramel/amber color with a small tan head that fades quickly into a ring and leaves no lace. Sporadic floaties wonderously navigate the sea of gold.

Toffee and caramel stick out with a milk chocolate edge. Peat smoky pockets lie deep within. Plum and fig fill out the dark fruit profile with a hints of earth and leather.

This isn't a bad Scoth ale but it's mediocre middle is very discouraging. Big alcohol burn on the finish in the chest. Caramel is full and up front. Things fall apart and come back together in the finish with a chewy toffee, semi sweet chocolate, raisin, plum, tobacco, leather, and the big sky.

Mouthfeel is really hurt by the lack of a mid palate. If not for that and the alcohol burn this could hit the average mark in drinkability. (883 characters)

Photo of karengarys
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours translucent medium-dark brown with little head. Glops of gook plop into the glass from the bottom of the bottle.

This smells predominantly malty.

This tastes really - thick.... Hmm... over 9%? wow... Well, the taste does hide the alcohol quite well - there is a balance of sweetness, thickness (?) and malts. There is a raisin like flavor too.

Mouthfeel is creamy at first, but as it sits and warms it sort of reduces itself, abut it does remain.

Finish is sweet, and clean. no yickey aftertaste.

What a beer! I have not liked offerings from Dark Horse overall, but this is quite the exception. It is like a cross between a Scotch heavy and an RIS - both styles I happen to like. But, it is different enough to say: wow! This is fun and different! So, if you like those rich heavy styles, definitely give this a try. If you are looking for another pale ale, well - look elsewhere. (906 characters)

Photo of shivtim
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful hazy quite dark brown/red, with a small but dense beige head. Smells of sweet roasty malts, coffee, maple syrup, and bourbon. Taste is warm malts, brown sugar, toffee and alcohol. Maltiness lingers for awhile. Mouthfeel is good but slightly undercarbonated. Drinkability is good except for ABV. (306 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had several Dark Horse beers lately, and have been fairly impressed by their offerings, and the smokey flavor of this beer makes it no exception.

Appearance is a hazy red-brown with abundant white head. Aroma is a sour oakiness. Flavor to me is like a smoked butterscotch with a bit of sourness at the finish. Mouthfeel is slightly sticky...the flavor of the beer lingers on the tongue quite awhile. Rather drinkable for this style. (440 characters)

Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 566 ratings.