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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.

336 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 336
Reviews: 186
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.61%
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: 336 | Reviews: 186 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.93/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of moejuck: Poured a medium cloudy amber color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of semi-sweet caramel malt with a faint yeasty presence is somewhat bland. Taste is refreshing with some semi-sweet caramel malt with a definite yeasty presence and no discernable hops. This was not a bad beer overall but still not something I would drink often.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2007 16:05:47 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of kundabuffer


3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not terribly impressive, but not bad either...at any rate, I found it to be overpriced, selling for $8.29 for a six-pack at a local store that sells Bell's Amber for $7.79 (and Bell's is a MUCH better amber in my opinion). This doesn't really taste all that different from Newcastle...relatively low ABV, giving the beer a kind of nondescript watery sweetness. It is easy to drink, I suppose, but I don't think I'll buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2007 06:42:20 | More by kundabuffer
Photo of bahumutx


3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a dark copper/amber color.

Smell: Sweet Malt and slight hops. Maybe some citrus and a little bit of bread.

Taste: Starts of with a citrus flavor and hop bite and then ends with a sweet malt and bread flavor. The hop flavor does not stay around long and is not overpowering at all.

Mouthfeel: Right amount of carbonation and good Mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. The beer as a great flavor and not much of a lingering after taste. This would be a great session beer.

Nice job Dark Horse Brewing.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2007 23:00:26 | More by bahumutx
Photo of alexgash


3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amberish copper peach with slight haze. Small, off-beige head disappears rather quickly. Spicy, almost-bubblegummy nose with toasted, biscuity malt and light herbal hops. Definitely Belgian-inspired aroma, but a little too much bubblegum. Toasted, lightly bitter taste up front. Followed by bubble gum, fruit, and spice bread. Clove and grains of paradise near the finish. Citrus and herbal bitter finish. Not bad. A better "amber" Belgian-style brew than a certain "wide-wheel" from Colorado...

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2007 22:36:26 | More by alexgash
Photo of BitteBier


3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A cloudy, brownish-orange pour topped by at best an average amount of reasonably dense, whitish head. Sweet, malty smell with a little citrus tang present as well. Not quite what I expect for an amber, but more appropriate for a Belgian. Taste is similarly fruity, with a malt base that lacks firmness and hops that are more fruity than particularly biting. Mouthfeel is quite smooth but doesn't hold up so well. This wasn't the amber I wanted to have with my fish and chips, but it was worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2007 00:40:55 | More by BitteBier
Photo of scruffwhor


3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium mahagony and sandpaper sienna with very mild mild carbonation and n even milder head. Quickly disappears to nothing. The aroma hints at more of an American red ale than anything Belgian. Except for mayabe some more yeasty banana notes. The taste seems to be more American than Belgian as well. In fact, I wouldn't know this was a Belgian style beer unless BA and the Drak Horse website told me it was. Very malty with some light hops here and there. Tastes like an American had a one night stand with a Belgian. Pretty smooth and clean on the palate with some odd to place sweetness from the malts. And pretty light in complexity or flavor for that matter. So it could lend itself to be drank in massive quantities.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2007 05:53:08 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of emerge077


3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 03:38:00 | More by emerge077
Photo of xav33


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

Dark Horse Belgian Amber Ale
12 oz bottle
Unknown bottling, raced 11/06
Medium pour in a tulip glass.

Poured a hazy brownish copper with an average frothy mostly diminishing off white head with a fair ring of lacing.

Smelt of strong sweet apples, with light to moderate spices, breadiness, banana and cloves.

Taste was upfront moderate sweet bubble gum and spices, with roasted grain, followed by a strong roasted malt character and caramel and apple fruit tones, on a long bready finish. Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied, fizzy, slightly oily, with moderate astringency.

Overall, an interesting belgian amber hybrid, that almost feels like apple cider. A bit rough on the finish, and simple in flavors. Pretty straighforward and interesting.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2006 04:40:47 | More by xav33
Photo of Westsidethreat


3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A cidery colored brew with nice cloudiness. Solid, creamy, tight head with just a hint of a greenish tint.

S: Not a lot going on here. Some pear, green apple, very minor tangerine.

T: Green pear sweetness, just a tad under ripe. Some Belgian sugar thoughts with yeasty hints of apricot, banana and clove. Ethereal young wheat adds a gently malt background.

M: Thin body to medium body, could be a bit juicier but might comprimise the drinkability.

D: I like this beer. Subtle flavors mingle very nicely together. Probably nice on tap, with the flavors becoming more pronounced yet staying balanced. Killing a pitcher of this would be easy.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2006 05:14:48 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of neonbrown82


4.08/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an interesting beer. Not quite sure how much I like it, but interesting nonetheless. Pours to a dark hazy amber color with a thin white head. Recedes to a ring very quickly. Hardly any lacing either.

Smells great, however. Has a great floral, spicy hop aroma along with some rich malts. A tad on the sweet side. The taste doesn't translate well from the nose, though. Very estery up front. Has a bit of a sharp tart sweetness that hits hard at first but fades into a full, rich amber malt, gently roasty. The hops aren't quite as flavorfull as I would expect from the nose.

The palate goes through such an odd transition with this brew that it just seems to fall apart. Could be much better if it tasted like it smelled.

edit: after the beer sat in the glass for a while, I began to realize why this beer is listed under the belgian pale category as opposed to an amber ale. My tongue began to adapt to the flavors and it became much more enjoyable. I have updated my scores.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2006 08:38:22 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of nyjets1248


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

This beer poured into my pint glass a slightly cloudy amber color with just a hint of orange tint. The head was thin and quickly faded to a ring around the top of the glass. The aroma was yeasty and fruity citrus. The fruity aroma continued into the first sips of this beer then gave way to bitter/spicy hops, but not overpowering. This was a medium bodied beer with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Slightly lacking in carbonation but very drinkable. I would recommend this beer and feel that it represents Dark Horse very well.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2006 04:22:44 | More by nyjets1248
Photo of Brian700


3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a hazy amber color with a creamy white head that quickly simmers down to a ring around my glass. Not a whole lot of lacing.

The aroma is that of a belgian abbey ale. There is a big yeast aroma and a lot of esters going on here.

The flavor is sweet malt and a lot of fruity esters. Big yeast presence at first then it sweetens up in the middle and by the end it is leaving my toung feeling a little on the dry side.

The mouthfeel is medium body with medium carbonation.

I think this would make for a great session beer. Nothing over the top here but a good drinking beer with a nice Belgian feel.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2006 05:19:18 | More by Brian700
Photo of Crosling


3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mulitcolored autumn in color, with a large wispy head that poorly retains life. Loads of clove, fruit and esters in the aroma, with hints of vanilla. Flavor is pretty velvety and leathery, with a flavor that definately doesn’t remind me of an authentic Belgian beer. Vanilla and clove continue upon tasting, with burnt maple, caramel and toffee and a pretty one dimensional Belgian strain.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2006 04:54:59 | More by Crosling
Photo of TurdFurgison


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

Poured from 12oz bottle. Translucent orange-red color. not too much head. Expected a Belgian yeast aroma, but it wasn't there.

Unfortunately the flavor was nothing much either. I expected more based on some of the other BA reviews I saw, but honestly I can't recommend this beer. It was just a standard everyday beer in my opinion. Definitely not Belgian in character, more like a British pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2005 01:14:18 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of ypsifly


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

Ugly 12oz with no dates, and its missing "Belgian", poured into a tulip.

Hazed amber to light brown with a small white head that bubbles up and quickly falls to a fat ring.

Sweet malts with big yeast aromas that are chalky with some bubblegum and earthy funk in the background.

Caramel and toffee upfront followed by sharp hop bitterness that lingers with the ghostly yeast flavor in the finish. The yeast has been reduced to a trace of banana. The more I drink, the more the bitterness grows, to the point of taking over the aftertaste. Not very complex, barely interesting.

The mouth is a tad weak, it could use some help. Drinkable, but it could be a lot better.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 04:38:19 | More by ypsifly
Photo of ppoitras


3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from deejaydan as part of the WTF ASAP BIF. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" beige head above the clear coppery amber brew. Head quickly fades to an uneven layer of bubbles, with good lacing. Aroma is lightly spicy pale malt. Taste is wet grain husks, with generic hops bitterness. Mouthfeel and drinkability are okay, but nothing much impressed me this time around. Oh well.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 20:52:32 | More by ppoitras
Photo of sopor


2/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I very much did not like this beer. It was a hazy reddish copper with next to no head. Sweet smell with notes of bubblegum (yech!)

First tangy esthery note with a bit of yeast coming in along with some crystal sweetness and more bubblegum. Hops ride along the top of this beer popping their head in before the yeast and after the bubblegum. Not what I exected, but now I know that this is brewed with a belgian yeast strain. Doesn't help knowing that, this didn't taste good to me, the combination of the tangy esthers and bubblegum did not work well IMO!

Moderate to light body with almost no carbonation. Yuck.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2005 17:02:58 | More by sopor
Photo of DrainBamage


3/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2005 03:13:41 | More by DrainBamage
Photo of Shovelbum


3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2005 23:42:40 | More by Shovelbum
Photo of malty


2.68/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2005 19:53:12 | More by malty
Photo of SupaCelt


2.53/5  rDev -26.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2005 10:57:39 | More by SupaCelt
Photo of silenius


2.93/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2005 03:00:38 | More by silenius
Photo of aaronh


3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2005 23:38:30 | More by aaronh
Photo of Gaisgeil


3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2005 23:57:09 | More by Gaisgeil
Photo of walleye


3.05/5  rDev -11.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2004 14:25:44 | More by walleye
Dark Horse Amber Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.