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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.

382 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 382
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 15.94%
Wants: 7
Gots: 33 | 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: 382 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsh420
4.2/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours amber orange with a 1 finger head that leaves spotted lacing

smells like a belgian????

taste - again what type of beer is this - not an amber - its a belgian with carmel malts hints of bubble gum - its good though

mouthfeel is smooth with just the right amount of carbonation that tickles the tongue

drinkability is good as well - low abv and nice full flavored beer that is light /medium body - a good beer to drink in the fall

overall - maybe not a true amber and but hey i like belgians more then ambers so this amber rocks!!

Photo of gatornation
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ill start by saying this is a unique amber..it pours a dark orange/tan color with a small head and a little lacing .. it gets better the smell is of clove and belgian yeast i smell apples and melons and pears lots of fruits in this one.... in an american amber? the taste is great its a clove cinnamon and spice forward amber followed by friutfull tastes then some hops citrus and malt all nicely balanced.. the mouthful is to me a belgiian ale.. but one i like.. i can drink this amber all summer and will purchase again.. recommend this amber.. but be warned it is of a different style

Photo of jkrich
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date.

This ale poured a slightly murky, reddish amber with no head or lacing.

The aroma was largely sweet, biscuity malts. The carton stated that a belgian yeast was used and you can certainly infer that from the distinct odor that carries over to the taste.

The initial taste is a fruity, malty sweetness which is quick similar to a belgian ale. While the thick sweetness coats the tongue, it never becomes cloying; very interesting take on an "amber" style ale. The flavor remains consistent as it warms in the pint glass.

Moderately carbonated and medium bodied with full, satisfying unique malty flavor that somehow remains refreshing.

This was a pleasant surprise. When I read the carton stating that a belgian yeast was employed, I thought this one would be a mess. This one is very quaffable and would be great for the coming warm weather.

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 popery
3.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to deliriumfest for this beer.

What an odd Amber Ale. Granted the Amber style seems to have more to do with color than anything else, this beer is still rather strange. The flavor and aroma are almost reminiscent of a good sour, but if this bottle went wrong, it went wrong in a very interesting way. There's a whole bunch of apples, pineapples, grapes and cloves in this beer's profile, along with a relatively strong medicinal phenol quality. I don't detect any hop character, but then I can really only taste a funny combination of yeast flavors. The vinous quality actually reminds me of a less complex, less full Russian River's Consecration in a very odd way. That's an unfair comparison to any beer, but I can definitely say that this beer and Consecration are unique beers unto themselves. The tartness on this beer is mild. And I'm actually liking it more and more as I drink it. This beer just really isn't what I was expecting, and getting a near-sour amber is off-putting but also fairly good.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a reddish amber-body, slightly hazy, with a fast-fading, slightly fizzy head that leaves only the faintest, lightest sheen and practically no collar. Hardly any carbonation either - not a particularly attractive beer. A few yeast floaties as well, and a look in the bottle reveals a lot that didn't make the trip out the neck.

Aroma: Very sticky smelling, in a decently pleasant way. Strong caramel, plenty of pleasant fruity overtones, a faint piney bite, and a few gummy bear-esque notes. Nice.

Taste: A well-rounded and pleasant flavor profile. Heavily roasted malts (obviously) dominate, with notes of caramel, doughy sweet, bread, slight graham cracker, and even a soupcon of chocolate. The fruits - cherries, pears, pineapple, a few other tropical fruit notes - meld well with a a hop presence that is nothing to sneeze at, providing a nice balancing bitterness, surprisingly strong, and a few fruit flourishes of its own.

Mouthfeel: As the appearance might indicate, this one feels cola-esque - fizzy, a little sticky, uneven, and fast-fading. So, I'll give it the same score.

Drinkability: A solid, straightforward brew, a little too fizzy and bubbly (where it loses points on mouthfeel and appearance), but nice in the flavor and aroma profile. Gains a notch for being relatively low in alcohol, too.

Photo of kbeals
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy amber/orange color with about 1 1/2 fingers of white fizzy head. Not much lacing or head retention. Smells are your pretty basic malt/hop bill, a bit of spice perhaps. Taste is sort of grainy, a bit hoppy with a bitter finish. Pretty smooth, good carbonation and good drinkability. I would probably drink this again.

Photo of Proteus93
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy amber - part of that may be the dregs of the bottle. Head is slightly offwhite, a little frothy, though it doesn't last particularly long

S: A pleasant, toasted malt scent. Some hints of pear/peach are dectected. Ultimately, aroma is rather light.

T: The malt profile on this is quite pleasant. Some interesting clove-like flavours, along with some soft fruitiness and something that gives it a bit of a Belgian character.

M + D: Kind of mild carbonation. It works with the flavours, but I wouldn't have minded a little more crispness. A pretty straight forward brew... I quite like the flavour of this one, and would gladly have it again. I need to try more Dark Horse in general.

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
4.2/5  rDev +21.7%
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
3.27/5  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.

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 Buebie
1.99/5  rDev -42.3%
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
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
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
2.76/5  rDev -20%
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
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
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
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
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
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
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
2.69/5  rDev -22%
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
4.2/5  rDev +21.7%
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
4.28/5  rDev +24.1%
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
3.21/5  rDev -7%
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

Dark Horse Amber Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 382 ratings.