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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.

194 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 194
Hads: 421
Avg: 3.49
pDev: 22.35%
Wants: 9
Gots: 46 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 194 | Hads: 421
Photo of DrainBamage
2.95/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy copper color with only a little head that most clings to the side of the glass. Has a very sweet smell and a little wheat with it. Tastes a little tinny with a little bitter aftertaste. Surprisingly not as sweet as the smell implies. Slightly carbonated and rolls down quite smoothly. I didn't really care for this beer all that much and didn't find anything special about it. The slight wheat taste makes me wonder too. The only thing that stands out is the sweet smell and nice bitter aftertaste, but that isn't anything to redeem this beer.

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Photo of Shovelbum
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of malty
2.7/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Slightly cloudy copper color with a barely existent off-white head. Couldn't build a head even by forcing the beer into the glass.

Fresh sweet roasted malts in the nose. Faint spice mingled with a touch of sourness.

Flavors are mildly roasted and gristy with (again) some faint dry sourness, and that's about it. Flavors are there and gone right after the swallow.

Mouthfeel is light and watery. Carbonation is minimal. Very short lived finish.

Drinkability is OK. Very non intrusive, but very unexciting also.

Overall this is the limpest of all the Dark Horse beers I've tried to date. This beer tasted flat. Has potential, but I won't be buying another to find out if it's get better. Not at all reflective of the great work Dark Horse is currently doing - weird.

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Photo of SupaCelt
2.58/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer comes out an amber orange flow with not much head. Just some spit in the center of the pond and a partial ring are left in the aftermath. A few drunken carbon dioxide bubbles make their way up. Not much fiz.

The smell is fruity. I smell white grape and apple. Mostly vinous characters with a mild bready malt quality. Not much strength from the nose.

The taste is utterly bland. I am unsure there is even a flavour up front. All I get is an abnormally dense water impression followed by a slightly sweet and sour finish. When I say slightly, I mean nearly nonexistant. First of all if this is a Belgian, so am I. This is a tasteless amber ale all the way. We need an update on this brew.

The mouthfeel is round and medium despite the fact that it has minimal flavour. This is a strange duck all around.

Drinkability, not much satisfaction here. I cannot see a reason to drink another one of these sour water beverages.

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Photo of silenius
2.94/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The word "Belgian" is missing from the label, but the artwork on the label is the same as the one in the picture to the right.

Pours a murky brownish orange with very little head. Sort of looks like home made iced tea by the way it is colored and the lack of head.

Smell is slightly fruity - something vague and baked with a nice bright grassy note as well.

Taste is pretty pedestrian for this style and contains some of the fruit flavor from the smell with some additional sweetness and a slightly acidic kick at the end. Flavors are a bit thin.

Mouthfeel is watery and thin.

Not a very enjoyable beer to drink. I'll probably try other styles from this brewery.

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Photo of aaronh
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Adding to the mystery of this brewery (for me at least), my bottle looks like the one pictured, but there is no mention of "Belgium" or "Belgian" on the label. So much like the Black Bier, I get an unexpected surprise stylistically. Perhaps the name should be edited? Anyway...

Hazy copper color, topped by a decent cream colored head. A small ring of foam persists for a long while. Lacing is minimal. Aroma has a slight fruitiness and a bit of grassiness. Flavor has that funky Belgian yeast flair. Sweetness up front, with a slight sour edge on the finish. Nice amounts of fruit flavors as well, including banana and apple. Decent bitterness shows up in the finish as well. Mouthfeel is solid, yet the beer remains refreshing. Drinkability is pretty good. Another nice drinking experience from Dark Horse.

 811 characters

Photo of Gaisgeil
3.37/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not bad, not bad, not particularly good either. I hate to knock on a brewery so close to home, but sheesh, can't help it.

Pours an extremely flat and headless dark and cloudy amber from a standard 12oz bottle with a really bad looking label. I only mention the label because it really made me wonder about what was inside, what kind of brewer slaps something so bubble jet clipart looking?

Anyhow, the nose was good, sweet, hints of citrus and malt, maybe some apple and fig. Taste was actual respectable, full and fairly complex, even has a prick of carbonation which is odd considering it looks incredibly flat during the pour. The flavor definatly tails off toward the end, leaving a slightly watery impression. The sugar is definatly apparent and this one leans toward the sweeter side of the Belgian spectrum, which is something I like.

I get the feeling I got a slightly old bottle so I will try this again if given the chance, but as is, it didn't do a whole lot for me.

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Photo of walleye
3.06/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

from the bottle. poured a nice amber color with very little off white head, that didn't last very long .aroma, sweet, cloves, citrus hops, fruity. flavor weak yeasty,citrus, like grapefruit, cloves and some sweetness. a little on the watery side for me

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Photo of Mitchster
4.26/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a clear dark caramel, with the highly flocculent yeast sticking firmly in the bottom of the bottle, forming a peaking meringue-like whipped head with superior retention and lacing. Carbonation is moderate-strong. Aroma is spicy with cloves, the soapiness of coriander, slight bananas, toasty amber husks, and a whopping amount of yeast. Kinda reminds me in aroma of New Belgiums Abbey. Moderate aroma of citrus pith. Mouthfeel is fluffy with a medium body and dry finish. Taste begins with firmly toasty pale malt husks and roasted barley astringency, mild soapiness from the abundant yeast, cloves and more toast...no bananas. Bitterness is moderately-strong, which is pronounced for the style with a herbal hop character not found in traditional Belgium Ambers. Dry woodiness in the aftertaste. No appreciable candi sugar. Alcohol is barely detectable as a peppery flourish in the finish.

Dark Horse is quickly becoming one of the premiere breweries in Michigan next to Dragonmead, Founders, and New Holland. Their bottled lineup is expanding, and I will continue to buy and recommend their stuff. Very good brew...somewhat of a hybrid between New Belgium Fat Tire and Abbey Ale.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rusty orange color, softly clouded, firm and frothy finger high dusty whitish cap, keeps a good skim always present; lacing in moderate thin sheeting and strings. Aroma is fruity of lemon and pear and yeasty much like most pale Belgian ales. A bit bready and slightly spicy with lemon zest, white pepper, and clove. Taste follows suit, solidly spicy with pepper and clove, fairly zesty with a lemon spritz of peels, superb yeasty tones, great bready malts, fluffy and quite a full body. Slightly dry finish with dry wood and yeast. One solid intrepetation of a hefe on steroids, err... I mean Belgian Pale. Good stuff. Thanks to trbeer for another DH yummyful brew!

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Photo of Sixpack595
4.3/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sweet and fruity aroma with a slight citrice hop note. Copper colored with a thin cap of off white foam. Very fruity, very crisp flavor thats very refreshing. Much lighter than I expected, like a beefed up Wit. Mouthfeel is medium without feeling heavy. Great beer, very drinkable.

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Photo of inebrius
4.42/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Dark Horse beer that isn't completely black. This is cause to celebrate.

Amber, just like the bottle says. Quite the interesting mix of aromas mingling around the rim of my pint glass: Sandalwood, tuna fish salad on rye, kiwi fruit, lavender. Mildly sweet in a honeyed grass clipping way with bitter notes of chicory endive in the finish. Tasty and easily consumed!

This brewery is quickly becoming a favorite.

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Photo of putnam
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A leaden, tawny liquid turns up a short, very creamy tan head that slowly displays fat, bubbly suds on the outside of the meniscus. The aromas are of pressed tangerines, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg and toast.
On the palate it ventures clear, nutty, crusty flavors on a silky frame of baked crumbs and mild, floral cereal clusters. Dry. Hard to classify this as "Belgian"...more of a zesty Brit style I'd say.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown or burnt orange color. Small but tight white head. Sweet malt smell but not as strong as many within the style. (Be interesting to see how mch cnady sugar they used.) Slightly sweet, syrupy taste, Good smooth mouth feel with slightly sweet aftertaste. Didn't get much of a hop balance with this beer. However pretty tasty and very drinkable but not a classic beer for me.

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Photo of granger10
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a lighter amber color with a small yet decently sized white head. Smell and taste go hand in hand and what I got was a lot of malts and very sweet, rich malts at that. There was some yeast in the finish that evened the sweetness out a little but not enough balance here and just too much amber malt taste for me to handle. Did not sit well with me.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange brown color. Small lifeless head. Aroma is fruity and sweet. A medium bodied amber ale. Malts are fruity and sweet. Hops are a touch spicy and a little citrusy. A touch of yeast and spices in this one, so there is a touch of Belgian flavor, but it’s still a fairly typical amber ale. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

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Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

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Photo of proc
4.67/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent beer. Pours out to a cloudy amber in the glass with minimal head. Aroma is very light, with a faint yeast smell and malt as well. Taste. Here is where it shines. It has the wonderful malt taste prevelent with most ambers, but with a slight clove and spice taste associated with wheats. It finishes with a slightly sweet/spice to it that begs for another sip. It got better as it warmed up.

I will be buying this again. Yum.

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Photo of beernut7
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bright red colored brew has a nice light body and a rich fruit and malt flavor. It is really like a heavier bodied, more malt infused white ale. I liked it.

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Dark Horse Amber Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 194 ratings.