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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

998 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 998
Reviews: 559
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 52
Gots: 51 | FT: 3
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 998 | Reviews: 559 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BogAl
BogAl

Indiana

3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

06-27-2014 02:33:55 | More by BogAl
Photo of Rborre321
Rborre321

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

06-20-2014 19:25:35 | More by Rborre321
Photo of tykechandler
tykechandler

Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

06-19-2014 04:43:13 | More by tykechandler
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. No freshness date.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light brown head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of bubbly surface foam. Resilien lacing leaves a thick solid ring behind.

S- Roasty stout-like aroma with some notes of chocolate, coffee and caramel.

T- Flavor displays the hops more while still keeping that roasty quality. Rides a fine line between bitter and sweet. Roasty finish. Alcohol is hidden well.

M- Semi-creamy with medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- While I agree that this can only be characterized as an American Strong, I feel it has a bit of an identity crisis and lacks focus. Has the flavor of a stout but lacks the body of a stout while having the sweetness of a barleywine and the hop character of an IPA. Color me confused. Still, it's drinkable although perplexing.

06-17-2014 22:41:12 | More by Immortale25
Photo of RHB33
RHB33

Maryland

2/5  rDev -49.4%

06-17-2014 21:37:26 | More by RHB33
Photo of RyanAU
RyanAU

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

06-15-2014 00:58:41 | More by RyanAU
Photo of Getalegup
Getalegup

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

06-15-2014 00:30:16 | More by Getalegup
Photo of moshea
moshea

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

06-09-2014 23:41:34 | More by moshea
Photo of IAmHollywood13
IAmHollywood13

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

06-09-2014 18:16:31 | More by IAmHollywood13
Photo of bcsbeer
bcsbeer

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

06-09-2014 02:24:59 | More by bcsbeer
Photo of ChicagoPeacemaker
ChicagoPeacemaker

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

06-08-2014 16:23:37 | More by ChicagoPeacemaker
Photo of majorbase2
majorbase2

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

06-04-2014 00:11:00 | More by majorbase2
Photo of thereal_adam
thereal_adam

Texas

3/5  rDev -24.1%

05-31-2014 18:27:37 | More by thereal_adam
Photo of Syraquse
Syraquse

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

05-23-2014 02:09:56 | More by Syraquse
Photo of I_BYE_MI_BEER
I_BYE_MI_BEER

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

05-22-2014 03:12:03 | More by I_BYE_MI_BEER
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BrewtalHonesty

Oregon

4/5  rDev +1.3%

05-18-2014 22:19:30 | More by BrewtalHonesty
Photo of LoveStout
LoveStout

New York

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

05-16-2014 00:27:52 | More by LoveStout
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
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thinwhiteduke

Illinois

4/5  rDev +1.3%

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

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +1.3%

05-05-2014 20:36:49 | More by TheRealThreePhilosophers
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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%

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.

04-27-2014 21:52:15 | More by ThisWangsChung
Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 998 ratings.