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Dark Horse Amber Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Amber AleDark Horse Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

335 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 335
Reviews: 186
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.32%
Wants: 6
Gots: 12 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 08-10-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 335 | Reviews: 186 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well this was pouring a beautifully clear deep amber color, but I failed to realize this was bottle conditioned and the last little bit fell into the glass and muddied it up pretty good.Tightly bubbled white head shows moderate retention and lace. Smells a bit fruity with a fair bit of yeasty esters. Caramel and brown sugar round out the nose. Taste is sweet and malty with a Belgian flair to it. Sweet brown sugar and caramel mixed with a bit of tart dark fruit and a decent amount of earthy and yeasty esters. Medium body and level of carbonation with a sweet almost sticky mouthfeel. This is a different amber ale for sure, but quite tasty just the same. Ironically I poured this without knowing the brewers intent and had to look up the description on their website to make sure I wasn't drinking an infected bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 01:51:16 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of paxtonthegreat
paxtonthegreat

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very unique amber. Had a lot of common carmelly biscuity notes but with the addition of a belgian ale yeast it gives it a nice banana and slight clove finish. This is a great one to have in the summer all night long, or one of the few at dark horse that you can coast along with as one of their few few "session" beers.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2011 18:19:32 | More by paxtonthegreat
Photo of bluHatter
bluHatter

Michigan

4.28/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep rich amber color. A bit of foamy head.

S: Apple, red rice wine, some fruitiness.

T: Toasted malts, rice, hops, a little bitterness. Really very delicious.

M: Nice carbonation. Buttery, rich, yet soft.

O: This is a really great, satisfying amber with some interesting flavors I've not found in many other beers. I'd definitely order this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 23:31:39 | More by bluHatter
Photo of Holland
Holland

Illinois

3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a hazy brownish amber color with a one finger head. Lacing was decent but didn't last long.

S: smelled of fruit (couldn't pick it up), caramel and pale malt

T: tasted the same as the smell, but the tastes blended well. Wasn't thinking it would be this good after smelling.

M: carbonated and medium bodied, this was about right for the style. Not fantastic, but not sure what else you can do here. It allowed a crisp sensation in the middle, and stickiness allowed a lasting aftertaste.

O: solid brew, but I just don't care for the style. Price was about $11 at some bottle shop in Ann Arbor.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 00:57:23 | More by Holland
Photo of tykees88
tykees88

Indiana

3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- it's a nice orange amber color. white frothy head with bubbles and some rockiness.

S- it has a floral hop aroma and some nice toasted malt flavor.

T- The hops finish with a nice bitterness. But the beginning is all about a dry tart fruity flavor very interesting.

M- It's medium bodied with a little too much carbonation.

O- It's nice a better amber ale than many others

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 19:47:07 | More by tykees88
Photo of SolipsismalCat
SolipsismalCat

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy amber with moderate bubbles and a two-finger, white fizzy head that diminished in a couple of minutes. Okay lacing.

S: Toasted malt, caramel, and light hoppy aroma. Fruitiness too, and yeast.

T: Moderately sweet and a bit of hop bitterness. Like someone else said, there was a citrus-orange flavor. Overall, fruity, tart, and yeasty. Sort of a bland, slightly bitter taste.

M: Light to medium bodied. Crisp and refreshing without being watery. Soft to moderate carbonation.

O: Descent Amber ale. I didn't feel there was quite enough hops or toasted malt. The appearance was a bit lacking too. Still, above average.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2011 02:13:10 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of Internatbrewlove
Internatbrewlove

Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This American Amber Ale reminds me more of a Belgian ale. It pours a dark orange tinted amber color with a moderate off white head. It smells of peach and yeast. Taste wise it keeps me coming back. There is a taste of pepper, citrus, and banana. There is a light hoppiness and sweetness to this as well. There is a moderate to fine carbonation that lasts.

Overall this is a great beer at a reasonable price. Here is Michigan we can get it straight from the brewery. If you are able to drive to Marshall, Michigan this and several other great beers await you at Dark Horse.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2011 03:27:08 | More by Internatbrewlove
Photo of minterro
minterro

Colorado

4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes at the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange

A: murky brown orange colored beer. A weak off-white head that leaves almost no lacing.

S: the nose is fruity and malty. A tad bit of cloves and spice like a hefeweizen. Not very pungent.

T: fruity, citrus orange. Probably great for a hot summer day. a nice undertone of malts through the whole taste. Overall a pretty well balanced beer.

M: medium to full bodied medium carbonation. A bit crisp and also on the chewy side.

O: I'm not the biggest fan of ambers and the only reason I tried this beer was because of my buddy, having said that this might be the best or at least up there with the best ambers I've ever had. I dont see why this beer isnt rated higher.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2011 19:36:18 | More by minterro
Photo of StoutHunter
StoutHunter

Michigan

4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a bottle of Dark Horse's Amber Ale today for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. I have been meaning to try this beer for a while but I always end up getting sidetracked by their stout series but since I have tried almost all of them I figured it was time to finally get to their Amber Ale and see how it stacks up. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label is good looking, I don't know why I like it, I just do, its got a good flow. It poured a slightly dark amber red color that also has an orange tint to it with two and a half fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed the rest of the time.

S- If I had to describe the smell of this beer in two words I would say fruits and yeast. The fruit aromas are nice and unexpected and smell mainly of pears with a little bit of red and green apples. The yeast sticks out a good deal and is slightly spicy with a really light amount of cloves. I could smell a slight amount of caramel malts but it was pretty much overpowered by the fruits and yeast.

T- The aroma did a pretty good job at preparing me for the flavor of this beer. The first thing I pick up is a good mix of fruits which has some nice tartness to it, there was some red and green apples, a slight red berry taste, but pear still remained the easiest fruit to pick up out of the bunch. Unlike the aroma the caramel malt base actually shows up and had a nice flavor and the right amount of sweetness. The yeast is much more subdued then it was in the aroma and is barley detectable, there is just a slight amount of clove and other spices in the middle. There's not much hops in this beer but I still get just a slight amount of floral hops with a very slight bitter finish that was more tart then bitter and some of those yeasty spices were present in the aftertaste.

M- Tart, crisp, and on the light side of medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good and very unique Amber Ale. I just can't get over how unique and different this beer is from all the other Amber's, most are either heavy on the caramel malts or heavy on the hops, but this one was neither. It was fruity, tart, yeasty, and pretty damn good. This is a hard beer to grade because it really doesn't fit this style or most any other style for that matter but in the end everything came together nicely and I enjoyed it so I don't really care what style they call it, I just call it good. I would buy this beer again, I liked how different it was, and it had great drinkability, I could see drinking several of these on a warm summer night. I recommend this beer to anyone who likes tart and fruity beers, if you are starting to bore of all the average Amber Ales on the market this would make for a good and interesting change of pace. Dark Horse did a great job with this beer, it was unique and interesting, I was expecting an average Amber and I got something totally different yet still really good. It's good to be different but in this case it's great.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 03:25:40 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of Phinner
Phinner

Michigan

4.6/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a great mild amber flavor - perfect balance of malt and hops. Its a bit sweeter than other ambers, but this is a good thing because it gives the beer a nice overall flavor. Don't expect strong hop aroma or flavor. This is a good alternative to hyper-hopped brews that pay little attention to flavor balance.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2011 15:42:28 | More by Phinner
Photo of MammothBrew
MammothBrew

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep amber with a slight orange and caramel tint. No head to speak of, but a nice thin white layer on top. Light lacing is occurring.

S: Citrus is what I'm getting the most from this one. Grapefruit, citrus hops, faint malt scent. I detect floral notes as well.

T: Malt with a pretty mellow citrus zing. A bit of a floral taste. Pretty similar to smell.

M: For the body, it's between light and medium. Carbonation is present, but I think it's mostly the citrus zing I am feeling. No residue or bad aftertaste clinging to mouth.

O: Basically, I'm in the middle with this one. I would never buy it again, but I wouldn't refuse it if someone offered. FYI, goes good with fried food, which isn't saying much.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 18:30:56 | More by MammothBrew
Photo of DrinkingDrake
DrinkingDrake

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Came out of the bottle looking hazy and cider colored. Only a small amount of head leaving a ring around the glass. Interesting it looks like cider and I got apples right at the beginning.Also a lot of fruity yeast and pale/sour malt. The taste has an extremely light malt body with a large amount of carbonation. There is a big bite from the yeast and carbonation at the start. The pale malt then takes over and goes right into a fruity sour apple finish. Semi-dry and tingly.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 01:49:19 | More by DrinkingDrake
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this beer out Ohio way. Also found the Boffo brown ale too.

A - Tried my best not to get any sediment... success! Pour is still a very dark tinted amber with an inch of creamy head. Lacing is solid.

S - To me it smelled of a bit of fruit maybe a bit of pear (I love pears) with a nice caramel malt and toffee. Smells a bit yeasty too.

T - Thankfully not full of yeast I get dominant fruit and a sweet caramel base. Kind of relaxing to not have a hop forward amber.

M - Light to medium obviously but it does have a lingering nutty ness.

Overall not as extreme as most of there beers are but still well crafted. Was lucky to find these two beers since they are not around my area. Looking forward to trying all there brews someday.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 03:57:19 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
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!!!

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2011 14:21:42 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of flyingspatula
flyingspatula

Indiana

3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have tried Dark Horse's Crooked Tree IPA and thought it was really good, so I tried the amber ale. I wasn't disappointed. The smell is OK, not as good as the color which is cloudy, but nice. I poured the last of the bottle in my hand and it had some sediment, which I thought was kind of cool. Not much head, and no laticing. The taste is nice; the flavor has a fair amount of fruitiness. It's probably the darkest amber ale I've tried. Not too malty, or too hoppy. I would buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 00:27:07 | More by flyingspatula
Photo of cocogan
cocogan

Minnesota

3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Visual: Dark tangerine-brown color. Zero head, just a froth border around the ring of the glass. Very hazy beer with lots of floaties inside (yum).

Aroma: floral and oranges.

Taste: Citrus orange-apple taste that is both sweet and sour. Has an earthen background to it. finishes sharp with a crisp hop bite that leaves a bitter-sweet finish. This beer reminds me of an apple juice based punch. I could see myself drinkin this with breakfast or maybe at a junior high dance.

Mouth: Medium body and carbonation

Drunkability: Refreshing drink that would be a nice wake up with some eggs. Could lead to a nice sunday funday.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 03:43:23 | More by cocogan
Photo of rings
rings

Michigan

3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The only thing generic about this beer was the name. Served unfiltered, the draft pours with a traditional deep, cloudy copper color, but opens up immediately with a funky yeast nose that almost hints at a Belgian strain or the essence of a homebrew. The body is full, sweet and rolls back into a spicy, but clean hoppy bite. Nearly every sip brought out something different, a spice here and hint of fruit there.

While it does have a little bit of kick, you don't feel like you're drinking a strong ale as the blend of flavors and aromas balance nicely and the fullness covers up any heat from the alcohol. It's a very satisfying brew and interesting enough to find new layers as you pair it up with an appetizer or meal.

While it's certainly not a "profile" amber ale, the lack of conformity is an asset as this Amber Ale is distinctive and memorable for all the right reasons.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2011 20:56:10 | More by rings
Photo of n2185
n2185

North Carolina

3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice dark red color, but very little head even with a rough pour and it quickly vanishes into a small white ring.

S: Some sweet caramel malt characteristics up front with some wheat and banana aromas. There is a slight smell of hops as well.

T: Sweet caramel malt up front with some bread and wheat-like characteristics in the middle. The hops kick in towards the end, providing a bit of pine flavor and some bitterness at the end.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Nothing too exciting either way.

D: Goes down pretty smooth with a nice mix of sweet and hoppy. Not the best beer, but not bad.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 13:44:53 | More by n2185
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brew pub, drank from a pint glass...The beer looks like a dark apple cider, only a whisp of white head. Not much to look at...The aroma is very malty, caramel with toffee. Then this beer turns into a Belgian wheat with tons of cloves, spice and Belgian yeast...The taste starts out with some light rye, then more of the cloves and yeast. This actually tastes pretty good, and is easy to drink. However, its not remotely close to being an amber ale. If you want a Belgian yeast beer grab this at the pub, otherwise you can skip this. The feel is a big let down, not carbonated at all, almost totally flat on the palate.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2011 02:17:08 | More by jrallen34
Photo of prdstmnky
prdstmnky

Vermont

3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 02:32:29 | More by prdstmnky
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 03:46:12 | More by alleykatking
Photo of beveragesampler
beveragesampler

Indiana

3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep amber hue. two fingers off white head that dissipates quickly. no lacing. some yeast in the bottom of glass. smell is basic, light hint of citrus and carmelized orange. tastes like 35 IBU ish. effervessience attacks the toung. very tiny carbination bubbles. smell comes straight through in the taste. it is a good brew but i feel it is over carbinated. 5.5% ABV. easy to have several and enjoy them.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2010 22:49:28 | More by beveragesampler
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

2.88/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Extraordinarily cloudy with lots of clumpy yeast beasts floating around. Good start to the head. Sticks around for awhile. Modest lace on the glass.

Caramel malt aroma, but there's also a metalic (iron) smell that is distracting. Mild hoppiness in the background.

Here's a professional homebrew. Less yeast in the taste than I expected given the appearance. Also, the brew is drier than the aroma suggests. Oddly, given the abv, there's a strong alcohol presence. On the positive side, the hop-malt blend is pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2010 00:45:40 | More by smcolw
Photo of rembrant
rembrant

Ohio

3.08/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Basically...I've discovered and loved 10 different Dark Horse beers this summer...could say they are my favorite brewer.

i don't much like Belgian. Unnibroue "Raftman" was tolerable..as they made a point of leaving out some of the more strange and funky sour things to sort of "hint" at Belgian.

Amber? I've had a lot of Full Sail Amber...so...

Looks, lovely red amber color,not much head,a bit hazy,some film on the glass but no lacing.

Aroma Interesting...and not typical Amber. Rather fruity,yeasty...is that peach?...omg...I think my Amber turned Belgian on me ! It's DARK HORSE...so it's apt to taste a bit like stout with a grapefruit and cherry zing

Flavor...It's BELGIAN...I'm baffled. I'd thought an Amber would be TOO safe. Here Dark Horse throws me a knuckleball.

I get that odd musky-fruity yeast thing of a Belgian type....thank god not that gym locker or dirty pennies thing,but still a thing that does not work for me. There's a hint of caramel,a fruity mix of hops,and that Belgian yeasty sour thing...

I'd think some folks...who LIKE Belgian will like this...but may be upset that it is somewhat a tweener. I remember a crock of Delirium Tremens a few years ago...it wrecked my beer budget for the week so I had to finish it. Unpleasent.

This? not THAT bad but...

Mouth...it's a decent mouth for a middleweight,not happy with the aftertaste.

Drinkable...I'd like to cut it more slack and not downgrade for Belian tendencies. I guess it's creative and such...but I don't want another. Unusual beer.

Today I had a DH Black Bier at lunch and what a joy.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2010 19:10:29 | More by rembrant
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an amber brown color with minimal white head, retention and lacing. Scent is very mild with a damp and musty quality covering up a very light carmel presence, hints of earthy hops on the tail. Taste again is very mild, musty, wet paper, stale brown sugar, damp earth. Lighter side of medium bodied, alightly under carbonated, musty aftertaste. A true disapointment, not much going on, and when there is, its not too good.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2010 20:08:46 | More by rfgetz
Dark Horse Amber Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 335 ratings.