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Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Dark Horse Reserve Special Black AleDark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

918 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 918
Reviews: 553
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.35%


Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 05-28-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 918 | Reviews: 553 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by ryan1788a5:
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Pours a deep shade of black. Beige head sticks around for a very long time. Broad rings of lacing coat the glass in a fine blanket.

S: Soft and chocolatey on the nose. Cocoa and dry chocolate cake. Nutty tastes in the background with hints of charcoal. Hazelnut. Earthy. Hops contribute a pine needle scent. Very subtle hints of berry and darkfruit in the background. A good but slightly understated nose.

T: Woody and chocolatey. Bakers chocolate, cocoa, hazelnut, charcoal and smoke. Plum and cherry fruit tastes come forward briefly in the mid-palate, but fade into the background shortly. Very faint touch of pine needle barely registers. The finish is dry but long, with lingering tastes of baker's chocolate and cocoa, a touch of bitter dark chocolate, and a slight woody flavor.

M: Thick and creamy, velvety and very smooth. Low carbonation.

O: Nothing revolutionary here, but I enjoyed it very much. Nice roasty tastes, well-rounded body. The brewers are hesitant to call this a stout or porter, but it's close enough that fans of those styles will find a lot of common ground. A solid buy, and it drinks very easily for a beer that is pushing 8% abv.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2012 03:19:24 | More by ryan1788a5
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mendvicdog

Maryland

4/5  rDev +1%

04-22-2014 14:31:48 | More by mendvicdog
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Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

04-18-2014 02:58:39 | More by Beerlover
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JohnnyK

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3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

04-17-2014 20:52:19 | More by JohnnyK
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cjgiant

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3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

04-15-2014 21:37:17 | More by cjgiant
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aklude

Indiana

3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

04-12-2014 04:56:25 | More by aklude
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MacStinson

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4/5  rDev +1%

04-02-2014 21:09:40 | More by MacStinson
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donbet69

New York

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

03-30-2014 00:05:46 | More by donbet69
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Mxsluis

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

03-25-2014 23:10:15 | More by Mxsluis
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keithmurray

New York

4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - dark brown nearly black color with mocha head

Smell - black licorice, dark chocolate, roasted malts, expresso

Taste - much like the smell - dark chocolate, roasted malts, expresso, black licorice, vanilla

Mouthfeel - full bodied, viscous, medium carbonation, slight sweetness in the front, bitterness lingers in the back, the mouthfeel has the thickness of an imperial stout, which I like

Overall - impressive beer that drinks like an imperial stout, I will be seeking out more of this

Price Point - $2.09/12 oz bottle

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 21:29:50 | More by keithmurray
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RyanCFriedrich

Michigan

4/5  rDev +1%

03-20-2014 22:13:07 | More by RyanCFriedrich
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brutusmuktuk

Michigan

4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle with a dark brown color with a foamy tan head. Has a coffee and chocolate aroma, and taste is also coffee and chocolate, though with a bitter finish. Has a nice medium body feel. This has a stout feel and flavor, but without the roasted malts. Probably one of my favorite porters.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 21:13:00 | More by brutusmuktuk
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oso

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

03-18-2014 04:09:38 | More by oso
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emwild12

Illinois

4/5  rDev +1%

03-17-2014 15:04:50 | More by emwild12
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SLeffler27

New York

3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

SRM 35, like dark chocolate syrup with dark amber highlights when put to the light, otherwise, black in a Dogfish Head snifter. The thin, creamy chestnut head is quick to dissipate, leaving fine lace and a clinging viscosity.

The aroma is syrupy sweet with raisins and dates. A faint aroma of roasted chocolate and coffee resides in the background. Warmth brings out hints of vanilla and molasses.

No surprise, strong roasted malt punches through up front to the middle. A long, roasted bitterness fills the finish. Any sweetness upon entry quickly yields. There is no real presence from hops. This beer is all roasted malt and builds on that as it warms.

A full, almost syrupy body with ample fine carbonation. Alcohol is warming and far more present than anticipated. A dry finish leaves light astringency and plenty of residual sugar on the lips.

This was enjoyable, though far from what I would consider an American Strong Ale. I think this one is more suited to a dry Stout. Sit back and enjoy it with conversation and hors d’ouvres.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 22:40:09 | More by SLeffler27
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sjones5045

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1%

03-15-2014 18:44:03 | More by sjones5045
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clayrock81

Virginia

3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with one finger head on top of an aroma that is definitely roasted and coffee like along with hints of chocolate. The taste is one of strong roasted malts, again malts are similiar to coffee (maybe java is better word), a chewey, almost bready beer that is dry but mixed with some bitter chocolate and I swear I get hints of both vanilla and dark fruits like figs. Simple but enjoyable sipper.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 11:14:11 | More by clayrock81
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marcb105

Michigan

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03-14-2014 02:14:30 | More by marcb105
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jemarent

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andrewjraab

Michigan

3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a caramel mocha brown head that quickly dissipates to a fine ring around the glass. Smells of caramel, malts, brown sugar, syrup. Tastes follows the nose - nice balance of malts, warming alcohol, acidic, drying mouthfeeel.

Overall, this is a solid brew that just misses on the finer points of drinkability. This is a one and done type of brew, but I'd come back.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2014 03:47:34 | More by andrewjraab
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Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

03-09-2014 02:51:57 | More by skinnycox
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Dasein11

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

03-08-2014 23:56:47 | More by Dasein11
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4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I sat here in the tap room reviewing a beer on the phone.This beer is very dark brown with light brown head.Smooth feel in mouth and taste not to strong.Not real bitter with a hint of nut taste.Now the glass is almost gone I want another so it is pretty dam good.

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02-28-2014 20:28:21 | More by beerrat
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Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 918 ratings.