1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Reserve Special Black AleDark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale

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

956 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 956
Reviews: 555
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 52
Gots: 38 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Black 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 956 | Reviews: 555 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

05-16-2014 00:27:19 | More by acurtis
Photo of smartassboiler
smartassboiler

Illinois

3/5  rDev -24.1%

05-11-2014 03:46:16 | More by smartassboiler
Photo of Sean45812
Sean45812

Michigan

4/5  rDev +1.3%

05-11-2014 01:42:02 | More by Sean45812
Photo of Jordy777
Jordy777

Illinois

4/5  rDev +1.3%

05-07-2014 12:13:49 | More by Jordy777
Photo of thinwhiteduke
thinwhiteduke

Illinois

4/5  rDev +1.3%

05-06-2014 14:24:18 | More by thinwhiteduke
Photo of TheRealThreePhilosophers
TheRealThreePhilosophers

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +1.3%

05-05-2014 20:36:49 | More by TheRealThreePhilosophers
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

05-01-2014 22:36:38 | More by MikeWard
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a finger high, and light tan in shade. I'm not hugely impressed by the retention, but it's creamy looking, thick, and leaves a nice ring of lacing on the glass.

S: I'd reckon the aroma is closer to a hoppy stout than a proper black IPA like, say, Wookey Jack. Citrusy hops only augment the big roasted, chocolate, and licorice notes instead of competing with them. There are slight smoky hints as well. Could almost pass for an imperial stout at times.

T: I get a nice yet subtle bite of piny hops to start. The finish is loaded with chocolate, roast, and mild licorice. More piny flavors linger post-swallow. Both the hoppy and roasted components coexist with each other beautifully. I could use a touch more depth, but I don't care. This is a hoppy stout done properly.

M: The general feel is extremely soft and full. It could be a little drier, but I can't deny this is a shockingly rich stout. I almost said imperial stout, but I backed off considering it's only 7.5%. Carbonation is low, as expected. This one is easy to sip, with a finish that's 'dry enough', but only just.

O: What this does well is balance the roasted malts and the subtle hop notes like a boss. It's not much of a black IPA, though. But wow, this is another super solid stout from Dark Horse, just with a bit more hops than the norm.

EDIT: The other site which will remain nameless flat-out calls it a porter - and that's before I noticed this site calling it a STRONG ALE. I'm not going to raise scores, but it's still a damn good dark beer; I can still look at it in an even better light due to the fact it's not designed to be hoppy.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2014 21:52:15 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of Theniz
Theniz

Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

04-27-2014 16:34:39 | More by Theniz
Photo of BigJim5021
BigJim5021

Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

04-26-2014 19:29:44 | More by BigJim5021
Photo of Mark4prez20
Mark4prez20

Michigan

4/5  rDev +1.3%

04-26-2014 04:59:19 | More by Mark4prez20
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

04-25-2014 23:07:00 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Dave_Treat
Dave_Treat

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

04-24-2014 23:59:41 | More by Dave_Treat
Photo of Gustavus_97
Gustavus_97

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

04-24-2014 02:45:21 | More by Gustavus_97
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

4/5  rDev +1.3%

04-22-2014 14:31:48 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of Beerlover
Beerlover

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

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

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

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

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

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

Indiana

3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

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

Michigan

4/5  rDev +1.3%

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

New York

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

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

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

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

New York

4.65/5  rDev +17.7%
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
Photo of RyanCFriedrich
RyanCFriedrich

Michigan

4/5  rDev +1.3%

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

Michigan

4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
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
Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 956 ratings.