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Dark Horse Amber Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Amber AleDark Horse Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

391 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 391
Reviews: 192
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 15.65%
Wants: 7
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 08-10-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 391 | Reviews: 192
Reviews by drop6301:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a really cool amber/red color with thick sticky head,u could tell this beer was really well crafted from the pour.Rich malty,fruity smell with some bread like smell in the background,taste was rich and fruity,good malt crachter to it.Real complex beer I wich I had more time to visit here to go right to the brewpub to get this on tap.

Photo of Beaver13
3.44/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a murky tea color with a fizzy off white head that quickly recedes to a thin film.

The aroma is subdued - bready caramel malts, a little grassy hops and some slightly sour fruitiness.

The flavor is caramel malts, maple, a little chocolate, some yeast and a little fruit zing at the end. The mouthfeel is medium with some slightly sharp carbonation.

Overall, an enjoyable amber. It's different and more flavorful than most ambers.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, cloudy, red/brown in color

Smell: cherry and toasted malt

Taste: cherry, toasted malt, Belgian spices

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, high carbonation, sweet

Drinkability: One of my favorite beers by this brewery. I could have several. A different take on the style and one I will get again.

Photo of Mora2000
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orangish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is malty with some fruit. The flavor is caramel malt with some fruit notes, but something is a little off. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of bsp77
2.69/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Dark cloudy brownish-orange with no head or lacing. Just looks kind of stagnant. Hopefully, it will get better from here.

Smell: Sweet toasted malty bread, light Belgian aroma with slight banana.

Taste: Heavily toasted malts, with dark fruit and cherry. The Belgian aroma I detected doesn't make itself known in the taste besides for maybe some light clove. Very medicinal and metallic at the end.

Feel: Seems kind of flat and spritzy at the same time. Light body with off-dry finish.

Drinkability: Just a strange beer overall. Not a fan, especially with that atrocious medicinal aftertaste. Seems like I may have gotten a bad bottle, but many others comment on the murky look with no head.

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.63/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appears a semi clouded caramel amber hue with a light cream colored head dwindles rather quickly leaving a thin collar of lacing with minimal patches sticking to the sides of my glassware. Aromatics are tame with dominant caramel malts and a touch of lingering metallic natured elements, carbonation prickles the nose but really doesn't give off an actual aroma. Flavors jump out with some cloyingly sweet sensations of apple juice with a touch of unwelcomed acidity. Way too one dimensional and malt driven I can't really even mention hops it tastes sort of like unfermented wort, with pineapple juice and some other tropical nectars adding to the sugar content. Mouthfeel is a touch sticky with residuals, pass me another version definitely a trainwreck on the palate. Carbonation is overly fizzy and seems un natural for me. Drinkability overall wasn't offended it just was way too sweet for me, kick up the hops just a tad and I could see this working. I will try another bottle to make sure it wasn't a carbonation issue.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Creamy white head. Body is amber-copper in color. Smells of light biscuit malt, orange, other fruity esters and Belgian yeasts. Taste-wise the light orange citrus is up front moving to spices, yeast and biscuit-malt. Light hop bitterness. Light bodied-- a bit watery. Finish is smooth and clean.

A decent Belgian Pale Ale, although a tad subdued for my tastes. Makes for a decent session beer if you’re looking for Belgian flavor without a lot of alcohol or damage to your wallet.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a hazy apricot brown body with a thick light tan head of foam. There is a strong carbonation of micro bubbles that race around in the glass and supports the head for most of the beer.

S- The smell of yeast and dry biscuit malt has an earthy pine note that comes through as it warms. The smell is pretty soft except for the yeasty notes.

T- The taste of biscuit malt and toast are followed by a soft but bright orange fruit flavor. The finish is a light green pine bitterness that hangs on a bit after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture but a pretty clean finish.

D- This beer is simple but good. The flavors are not complex but are pretty distinct, however it would be nice to taste them a bit more. Good session beer and I think if on cask much more subtle notes would really help this beer.

Photo of Brenden
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This amber is a thick and cloudy dark orange color. A very light tan head reaches almost a finger and fades to a thick foam that leaves some lacing around the glass.
There's a good balance in the aroma evidencing a foundation of malts with a good hops presence adding mostly floral notes. Sweetness is on an even keel with a bit of earthiness. Light banana and bubble gum notes of Belgian yeast are also unexpectedly present. The flavor seems not to mesh well as first but melds as it sits, just needing to warm slightly from the fridge to work. Issues here are a touch of graininess and a bit of rubbing alcohol presence fading in and out.
The body is medium, as is the level of carbonation adding a brisk, nipping crispness. Smoothness comes up in the middle without ever losing that crisp bite.

Photo of prdstmnky
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. Pours a cloudy amber color with a finger of off white head that fades quickly to a few bubbles on the surface. The nose is interesting for the style, consisting of some interesting fruit aromas (peach / banana), some yeast notes, as well as sweet and toasted malts. Definitely has a Belgian flavor to it - I keep looking at the bottle to make sure Im drinking / reviewing the right beer. Clove, yeast, banana, some floral hops, and a spiciness are all found in the flavor profile. Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation.

Nothing at all like I was expecting. It wasn't a bad beer, kinda tasty actually...I just dont think it fit the style very well.

Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When something is called amber, I ordinarily would not expect it to be called a pale, rather a hoppy American. And that's closer to my experience, but for the addition of some extra Belgian yeastiness. On-tap at Cole's./ Grapefruit colour, lots of lace. Hoppy aroma and hoppy taste, with fruit. Medium mouthfeel.Drying aftertaste.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This one pours reddish amber/bronze with a small khaki head that quickly fades to a thin layer of fizz. Swirling produces some spotty lace, but fails to bring up a decent head. I really like the dusky and hazy color though.

S - This has a fruity and vegetable combo aroma, like V8 splash. I'm getting some musty earthy moist soil and also some grassy hop notes. This smells a bit chalky and old world, and I'm all about funky notes like these, but they somehow fail to deliver here.

T - Carrot juice with strawberries and peaches. There is a mushroomy dirty flavor too, a long with a biscuity malt aspect that wasn't present in the aroma. A peppery spicy flavor is very prevalent also, like pepper in a Bloody Mary.

M - Gritty, earthy, dirty, medium in body, and dry on the finish. A really solid mouthfeel for an amber ale!

D - Not too shabby. I like the oddball earthy notes, and the tight mouthfeel aides drinkability. This is a pretty good brew, even though it doesn't look all that great.

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - orangish amber with a soft, white head that has decent retention

S - apple, fruit, alcohol, light hop aroma

T - apple, pear, all esters

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a rather disappointing beer. It's simple and relies heavily on esters and alefruit. The nice side is that this is easily drinkable and unoffensive. In the end this isn't a beer that I'm looking to have again.

Photo of secondtooth
3.54/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber, with a full head of tan bubbles but no lace. Hmm.

Nose says toasty malty grains. Kinda sweet. Subtle, though. Not bad.

Taste is strong and malty, with plenty of sweet and toasty (even fruity) notes. Certainly not a bad beer, and light enough to session easily, but this one simply doesn’t stand out to make much of an impression.

That said, this would be a wonderful brew to enjoy on a night out with friends. Not too big or heavy, but packed with flavor. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.27/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark Horse's Amber Ale pours a hazy light russet brown body with an orange cast. The creamy light-tan head drops shortly, and very little lacing is left behind.

In the nose it offers a compelling combination of fruitiness and malt. It mainly displays slightly tart but sweet red berries, apples, and pear, but there's hint of clove to it that somehow gives the mind the impression of sweetness (as if it was in bubble gum or something). The malt is bready, and a touch caramelish and toasty.

In the mouth it's medium bodied and smooth with a moderate carbonation that gently bristles the tongue.

The flavor delivers what the nose suggests, and it's surprisingly refreshing with so much fruitiness to it. I find apple, pear, and soft red berries upfront and across the middle where the malt begins to rise. It's not particularly bitter, and the malt really gets to shine. The fruitiness remains in the finish for a little bit, and then it steadily fades away leaving just a hint of malt and a soft note of clove behind.

It's unique, to be sure, and that keeps it compelling and interesting. But it's also really well-balanced and remarkably drinkable. It's a wee touch strong as a session ale, but I could easily see having three or four of these in a row when out with the lads. I will now go back to the store to buy more! Nicely done!!!

Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Princeton Liquors in Maple Grove, MN. I was a little worried I'd picked up another boring amber, but Dark Horse has made something different - thank God. The aroma is a little husky and the flavor is a bit dusty, but there's also a big cocoa taste with caramel candy. Looking at the beer, it's a bit darker than a normal amber, a clear light brown. Come to think of it, this beer is a little more like a brown ale, but I'll take it. This beer is worth checking out.

Photo of Kegatron
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a golden amber with 2+ fingers of slightly fizzy looking off-white head. This finally settles down into a 1/4 finger of creamy retention that leaves some spotty lacing behind. The aroma is bready, malty, and citric, with some hints of spice and floral hops behind it.

The taste is bread and caramel malt sweetness with a layer of citrus and spicing underneath and a tingle of hops in the back. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a creamy feeling carbonation that has a bit of a sharp edge to it at times.

Decent enough Amber Ale here I suppose with enough flavor and a decent body to keep me interested. I probably check this out again down the road.

Photo of Infamous7100
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: a slighty hazy orange to amber(imagine that!) With mimimal head and lacing.
S: a reminiscent of a Belgian. Some spicy notes along with citrus and fruit. Some biscuity notes too.
T: citrus notes at the front along with belgian notes I picked up on the nose. Bready malts give way to a crisp citrus finish.
M: watery, thin and not much body. Crisp finish and an okay aftertaste.
O: absolutely a sessionable beer and much different from other ambers and reds. It just lacks a little in appearance and mouthfeel. Definitely distinct.

Photo of jmerloni
3.19/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A nice ruby, hazy ginger orange color. Head is minimal and does not lace very well.

S - Almost nothing there. Smells like swampy hops, lemon rind, citrus.

T - Follows the nose pretty surprisingly. Hops are swampy tasting and there is lemon rind flavor present. There are also a handful of Belgian dubbel-type flavors: pear, raisins, some pineapple. Malt is only detected near the end of the sip.

M - Disjointed. Pretty lively when you hold it in your mouth, but the hops and malt are two different beasts in this brew and don't interact hardly at all. Hops are upfront and malt is all on the swallow. It also leaves your mouth feeling cottonmouthed.

D - Moderately drinkable but not very appealing overall. Not a bad beer, but there is no part of it that is good or great and I don't think I'd get it again.

Photo of bashiba
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice clear copper with a thin white head.

Smell was light and fruity yeast with a bit of toasted malt.

Flavors are very balanced with a nice lightly toasty malt body and a light citrus hop finish with the belgian yeast poking through with some mild citrus and coriander notes.

Mouthfeel is light with a dry finish.

Not to bad the belgian yeast gives this beer a unique flavor for an American amber.

Photo of alleykatking
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a deep amber color. Half finger white head shows poor retention. Very light spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Light caramel hops with a musty aroma. There is some light citrus hops in the ending but nothing in this is very upfront. All the aroma is muted which is a little sad as this brewery has some amazing aroma profiles for their beers.

T- Light caramel malts linger throughout the entire beer itself. A daker fruit lingers with a belgian yeast which I didn't expect. Musty hops in the ending which brings this all around. This is an interesting take of an amber.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light caramel hops and belgian yeast left on the palate. Aftertaste is great with the musty hops, light alcohol, and hints of caramel malts. Flavors were on par with the style. Alcohol drying on the palate is light. No off flavors at all with the beer itself.

D- This is a good tasting amber ale from Dark Horse. The ABV is low and helps with the drinkability of this beer. Dark Horse has put out another very good beer in their yearly line-up. Good job guys!

Photo of KYGunner
3.69/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Silky amber color was topped by a thin wispy head that dissipated quickly but left good lacing.

The scent was thin as well but there was a nice grain, burnt malt aroma that made it worth sniffing for a while.

The taste was so unusual for an amber that it made it interesting at every every sip. I immediately caught licorice and then a little clove. Grain and malt with some Smokey char appeared but then clove took over again. Not a clove fan but it synced well with the light malt flavor. The feel was nice and smooth.

Overall, this was quite an experience, different, unexpected and unique but not quite the amber experience I wanted.

Photo of PhillyStyle
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

The beer appeared a clear amber color, which produced a two finger off-white head, but quickly dissolved and left no cap. The beer gave off a stronger than expect aroma, toasted malts, biscuit and slight hop. The taste followed the nose, but was perhaps a little lighter than expected, based on the nose. The beer had a light feel to it. It was crisp, clean and a well-balanced beer with good carbonation. Overall, this is one of the more average pale ales that I have tried.

Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, nice artwork on the label, resembling a bundle of grain.

Pours a deep reddish orange, some foam remains in the pilsner glass. Smells of banana esters, and hearty, musty grain.

Tastes smooth and buttery, malty, toasted grain, finishing with an herbal note. Fairly simple, but with several flourishes that make it unique. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste, must be hops. Earthiness too, hard to place though.

Very smooth mouthfeel, few flaws here. Easy to drink several at a time, be sure to appreciate the nuances. Cheers!

Photo of bluejacket74
3.27/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, served in a Sam Adams BL glass. The beer pours an amber/orange color with a half-inch white head that went away quickly. Not much lacing, either. The aroma reminds me of a Belgian beer, it smells like cloves, bready malt, apples and Belgian yeast. Taste is caramel and toasted malt, apples, peppery spice and an unpleasant earthy/minerally taste. Mouthfeel is medium, it has soft carbonation and it's a bit thin. Drinkability is decent, it's not hard to drink. Overall I think it's an OK beer, but I don't think I'll have this again anytime soon. It's not bad, just average.

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Dark Horse Amber Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 391 ratings.