Dark Horse Amber Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Amber AleDark Horse Amber Ale

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374 Ratings
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Ratings: 374
Reviews: 189
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 15.94%
Wants: 7
Gots: 25 | 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: 374 | Reviews: 189 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hopdog
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade with Puddintane (thanks!).

Poured a deep and cloudy amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of bananas, lightly spicy, some caramel and a little bready. Interesting aroma that grew on me. Tastes of bread, toasted malts, and had a lighter fruitiness than the aromas. Thinner yet creamy body.

Notes from: 1/10/07

Photo of WakeandBake
4.22/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rusty,cloudy amber color with a thin soapy white head that fades pretty quickly.Aroma is Belgin yeast,apple,cherries,and a hint of earthy clove. Flavor starts off toasty and sweet then fruity,then a grassy hops and hint of clove.Nice malty flavors,caramel and grain. Thin body and mouthfeel,nice little herbal aftertaste/finish.Quite drinkable.

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

Pretty and not quite textbook malt-centric American Amber here... color is clear rust red, unfiltered, decent head, some lace, etc, etc... nose a bit more estery than I'd like, but sports nice malt-front caramel and toasted sugars. Hits of chocolate and roasty grain. Flavor follows suit, well balanced, full and a little grainy. Little buttery and hoppy-sour in the finish with a touch of fruit sweetness. Easy and full in the mouth, excellent carbonation levels mean you hit hit this hard.

A decent, if a little weird, example of the style that is more earthy, estery, and malt focused than its West Coast brethren.
Not bad at all.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
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 Buebie
1.9/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a snifter.

Color is a hazy amber, glowing copper when held to light. 1 finger creamy white head. Leaving a thin layer of retention and spotty bubbles.
Any lace quickly slides back down into the beer.

Aroma is a burnt pine, some grassy hops, sawdust, resiny hops. Bitter in aroma, no sweetness detected at the nose.

Moderate carbonation up front, sweet malty flavors. Orange peel and a large overhwlming amount of ginger. Not a fan of this.
Mouthfeel is thin and watery. The bitter burnt pine wood flavors and more then generous amounts of ginger are enough to turn me off from buying this again.

Will skip in the future.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

had this over dinner this evening. with 75 reviews as of this writing I'll note I had it with a salad with chicken and balsamic dressing. The light hop and malt characteristics made for a complimentary clean dinner beer. Overly hazy, I thought I'd poured a ton of sediment into my glass but I don't tihnk this is a bottle conditioned brew.

Morale of this review - a solid session beer or dinner beer.

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

A: Pours a nice looking orange color. Nice lacing in the glass.

S: Smells like a belgian ale with hints of apple, toasted malt, and caramel.

T: Fruity taste with a nice addition of caramel and toasted malt, earthy/floral hops.

M: Pretty smooth

D: Very enjoyable and goes down very easy.

Photo of sweethome
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep amber color - unfiltered and beautiful! Very little head, and what there is leaves quickly.

Nose is virtually non-existant. A little mineral, slight sweetness, and a bit of a lactic funk.

Entry is smooth, starts sweet, a lttle carmel malt, then that lactic flavor dances in the back - is this a belgian yeast? Doesn;t develop in a pleasing manner - I think this is just a little lactic.

Photo of roadhouse
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

To start, this is way overcarbonated. Even with a very gentle pour my glass was quickly overflowing with foam. Appears a slightly hazy orange-amber color. The head was over four inches tall to start but now it's at about two. Very bubbly and soapy looking. Leaves some lacing.

Aroma is kind of metallic. Some notes of toasted malt and caramel malts, a bit of yeasty aroma. Not much hops to speak of.

The taste is very fruity at first, gradually evolving into some toasty flavors and sweeter caramel notes. Finishes with a bit of hop bitterness that is almost lemony, but it doesn't stick around long.

Mouthfeel is very thin and watery. Carbonation level doesn't come across here as being too high as with the pour, it almost seems undercarbonated...strange.

Well the Horse has really disappointed me this time. Not sure if the bottle was old or what since it has no date on it, but it didn't taste oxidized or anything. Might give this one a shot again in the future if I see it again to confirm.

Photo of jwinship83
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- clear amber with a tiny head that clings to the sides of the glass.

S- sweet fruity and yeasty.

T- yeasty and sweet. very well balanced.

M- medium body, great carbonation and very smooth.

D- this one is very easy and enjoyable to drink. i could see myself having a few of these in a sitting pretty often. an interesting take on the style, check it out if you havnt.

Photo of orangemoustache
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi transparent amber with a couple fingers of foamy almond head that retains a quarter inch cap that remains the duration,lacing is uniform from top to bottom.The nose is yeasty and sweet with a mix of caramel and honey.The taste is unique and enjoyable,these amber ales can be quite a let down sometimes,this one pleases the tastebud gods.Lightly toasted caramel malts with some spiciness,and fair amount of hops help this amber ale to a level not reached by others,seems to be a style open to much interpretation,I wish more brewers were this creative.I can't help tasting pumpkin pie,maybe some nutmeg?Medium body and nice clean finish makes this one of the most unique,tasty and drinkable versions in recent memory.

Photo of Biggness
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this beer on tap last night. While visiting Michigan I certainly wanted to try one of Dark Horse's beer and this was the one on tap at the restaurant I ate at last night. At first appearance to color was a nice red/amber, the smell though was tough... almost made me not want to drink the beer, I am not too sure why it smells so bad, it almost smelled like a skunked Milwaukee's Best. The flavor was much better than the smell but still a little lacking in my eyes. I am hoping to make it over to the brewery and try some others.

Photo of mnstorm99
4.22/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice copper, ruby pour, and a just off white head that sticks around very well.
Nice malty aroma, and there is a touch of citrus hops, this is a very inviting beer.
Taste is a great malt base, nice crystal malt sweetness coming through, with a nice citrus, candy like hop flavor in the background.
Mouthfeel is nice a smooth, well carbonated and just an all around great beer.

Photo of GbVDave
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20 oz imperial pint.

A: Pours a beautiful looking dark and cloudy orange color with a small and bubbly off-white head that leaves a decent amount of lace in the glass.

S: Interesting aromas of belgian ale yeast, clove/cardamom, apple, toasted malt, and caramel.

T: Spicy and fruity (like a mild hefeweizen) with a nice addition of caramel and toasted malt, earthy/floral hops, black pepper, and apple.

M: Smooth and pleasing with and interesting peppery-ness.

D: Excellent summer beer! Very sessionable and enjoyable!

Photo of Dalem
4.3/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Think of what a blood orange cream soda would look like. That describes the rusty, hearty color of this. Minimal lid of foam that faded quick and a slight lace that stuck around the edges of the beer. Very toasty malts and a big yeast scent up front. Not jump right out at you type of aromatics but quite earthy with notes of strawberries and spices.
A very full bodied yet fluffy and mellow feeling at first taste but then comes the flavor blasts. Though subdued in it's scent the fruit characteristics really come out in the taste. Nothing overbearing but amidst the amber malts backbone (that actually taste full and rich in this a don't get sorta lost like some other amber's that could be mentioned) is something like strawberries with a graham cracker on the side. A slight peppry, spiciness in the back of the throat going down but a clean finish. Great in it's complexities and balance.
Great for any occasion and easy going enough for a session or two (ice cold in the summer these would surely be a spot hitter).

Photo of 1fastz28
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a cloudy reddish copper color with a 1 finger head, has a nice color to it. smell is kinda weak, it has some good aroma to it, it is just too weak to get alot out of it. it has a nice biscuit malt aroma to it though. taste is good has a roasted malt flavor overall, sorta watery which is why the mouthfeel is kinda low, slightly above average amber ale

Photo of kenco12
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Wasn't anything too special than a regular Amber Ale. I poured into a frozen glass to enjoy for my final beer of the night, and was severely dissapointed. After having a few different beers, this wasn't one to end on. I will definetely give it a second chance as a first drink of the night, but for right now, it wasn't all too special. Poured a gorgeous color, but that's really all that was fantastic. Tasted like a typical amber ale, except a little more bitter. In the end, my taste buds could have been swayed, and if so, I will change, but for now, it gets this current grade.

Photo of Slynger
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark Horse Amber pours an apricot-amber color, with a slim off-white lid. The smell is sweet and fruity, and pretty light. Caramel and apricots mostly. The flavor throws me for a loop though, as it's nothing like I expected. It is toasted and bready with a lightly spicy yeastiness, some grassy earth, and just a hint of the apricots from the nose. Medium bodied with fairly light and unspectacular carbonation. Overall an interesting take on an amber. It's a little bit unlike any other amber that I've ever tried and I'm not sure why the smell and flavor are so different. Not bad though, and definitely something I will check out again.

Photo of knight84
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark reddish amber with a very small taupe head that doesn't last. The nose is earthy malts, and yeasty esters of strawberries, raspberries, and peaches, I get a touch of banana at the back of the nose.

Taste is malty with some yeast, strawberries, old hay and dirt, and slight hop bitterness. It feels crisp but also a touch syrupy in the mouth. For some reason this beer feels more like a Belgian style than an amber, maybe that's why I like it better than most ambers...

Overall I liked this beer, it's very drinkable and has more character than most ambers I've had. Even though ambers aren't my favorite beer style I still like and appreciate the unique take on this style that Dark Horse has come up with.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.83/5  rDev +11%
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 Bighuge
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy dark amber body. Thin off white head. Sparse lacing. Subdued nose of sugary carmelized malts. This amber's got some character, but in an odd sort of way. Almost like something you'd expect from Bell's. It's got some sharpness to it. Just a titch of acidity. And maybe a little yeasty sourness?? But, underneath all of those "oddities" (which, by the way, aren't off putting in any way) is a nice solid malt backbone of caramel and slightly toasted malts. A little bit of a sugary topping to it all as well. Very agreeable mouthfeel. Medium bodied or so. Interesting and enjoyable brew.

Photo of gmfessen
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a clear amber color (duh) with a thin, bubbly head. Smell is not overwhelming, but is of malt; caramel and toasted notes with a very slight hop nose. There are some floral hops present in the taste, balances nicely with the sweetness of the beer. Caramel and toasted notes dominate the palate, along with some phenols you might expect from a hefe or a Belgian which seem out of place but interesting. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a minimal carbonation. Easy to drink, a pretty decent beer overall.

Photo of mynie
4.22/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Man--someone stuck an amber in the six pack of Raspberries. I hate ambers. So bland and pointless, no hops or nothing.

This pours amber with a small head. Whattaya know.

Smells really good, actually. Roasted biscuity malt with very strong, very spicy yeast. Nothing that's especially amber-y, as far as I know.

The amerbryness comes in at the very back of the mouth, where you get the same lightly earthen malt node you get with every other amber. Up front there's no hop complexity (but that's not really Dark Horse's MO). Instead you have a wonderful blend of yeast spice and malt biscuit. Not extreme or anything, but wonderfully balanced.

Wow. I think this is what the style is supposed to be like only I've never come across one this good.

Photo of Pegasus
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly cloudy deep copper in color, with a massivev, persistent white head, and thick glass-coating lace, which leaves striking tide marks on the glass walls.

Aroma: Toasted malts dominate, with a mild herbal hop presence, as well as a slightly dusty note to the aroma.

Taste: Opens with tart malts and tangy hop notes, which verge upon sour. As the taste progresses, the hop and malt presence mellows a bit, but never loses its piquant character. Midway through the taste, hints of toffee appear. Finishes with a mild, lingering herbal hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth full, quite soft, very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A very drinkable example, which demonstrates more character than the style is typically known for.

Dark Horse Amber Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 374 ratings.