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Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Fore Smoked StoutDark Horse Fore Smoked Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,025 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,025
Reviews: 431
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 60
Gots: 116 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 12-13-2002

Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,025 | Reviews: 431
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Oh man. Bubble bath time. I'm not a homo but I really needed one tonight. Nothing like a new stout to go along with it, no?

Appearance : Pours a tarry black color... pitch, motor oil, coal...obsidian. It's a black hole in a glass, there's no way light is coming through on the other side. They should have called this the 'black hole of death'. The 3 finger head actually pours slightly red, like an angry irish fire brick red. It settles down into a peanut butter brown with tinges of red. It has receded to 1/2 a finger at this point.

Aroma : Salted Caramel Macchiato. Spot on. It has the roasted coffee with rich caramel and cream notes, and a toffee-like sweetness, and a faint smoked aroma. It's beautiful. The bouquet is medium strength.

Taste : First, it's roast coffee, followed by a slight hit of toffee and caramel, then coffee bean and dark charred smoke. Roasted and fresh ground coffee are left lingering on the tongue. It's a rather complex profile yet stays linear and true to form.

Mouthfeel : Medium bodied, bordering on full bodied, with an undeniable slight creaminess that's brought into balance by the charred and smokey notes. It ends semi-dry.

Overall : Another hit Stout. I love it, you should too.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Chaney. Thanks Brandon.

Photo of dmgeng
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got this one as part of a mix and match 6pk and I was not disappointed.

A - Dark black color. Cascading dark brown head with lower staying power. Not a lot of lacing.

S - Initially there is the light smokiness that I was expecting accompanied by a strong malty aroma with roast and chocolate tones. The chocolate and malty aromas really compliment the smoke and roasted character which is more reminiscent of a great porter.

T - Much like the smell the smoked malt is throughout the entire taste and evolves over the palate but never overpowers it. The rich and sweeter stout character is really carrying the beer with malt, chocolate, and roast. The roasted character is there along with the smokiness but really is secondary to the sweeter and more robust flavors. The flavor is very similar to a porter but with more smoke and soft roasted character and overall more complexity. The bitterness is there from the roastiness but it provides balance to the sweeter flavors.
M - Moderate to low mouth-feel. Light carbonation. The lower carbonation and tons of flavor give this 7% beer more flavor impact but clears the palate well after the sip.

Overall, this is probably the best smoked beer I've ever had. Even thought the ABV is only 7% there is still a huge amount of complexity and flavors. The other facet that makes this beer very good is the complimenting smoke and not the overpowering smoke. All of the larger and more smoke forward beers leave more to be desired because they give the beer more of a bacon/burnt flavor that is less appealing than a gentile smoke character in your porter. I would like an imperial version of this with more body and more ABV but I will definitely get this one next winter.

Glass- Snifter

Photo of brureview
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark opaque almost black color with 2 F head in a Brooklyn dimpled mug.

Aroma: Burnt roasted malt.
Mouth Feel: tart and malty.
Taste: smoky, dark roasted malt.
Finish: tart roasted malt,with a hint of smoke.
Overall: excellent beer. I especially like the balance of dark roasted malt and smoke in this beer.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brilliant deep black with a two finger chocolate head that quickly dissipates.
S: Smoke, wine and dark toasted malt with traces of chocolate and coffee.
T: Roast malts with chocolate seasoned lightly by smoke. M: Medium full body, medium carbonation, smooth and creamy.
O: the smoke is very suibtle in this beer and well balanced by the other elements.

Photo of SFNC
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Simply the blackest beer I have ever seen! If you liquified charcoal briquettes, it might not be this black. Minimal rust brown head. Smells of smoke amd roasted malts. A very good balance between the smoke and the sweetish malt base. Some lite coffee and dark chocolate undertones. Thick mouthfeel and a surprisingly light aftertaste. A great Smoked Ale and a very good Stout.

Photo of 57md
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep dark brown in color. Nice blend of roast and smoke on the nose. The smoke does not get out of control yet it outpaces the roasted malts in the flavor profile. There is a healthy body with a little creaminess.

Photo of hotsudge
2.78/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Far too smoky for my palette. It was a good take on the style but just a bit too smoky in taste and nose. Not one I would try again.

Photo of SierraFlight
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into stout snifter. Opaque black with just a hint of brown at the stem of the glass. A one-finger brown head forms and slowly falls to a ring. No lacing. The aroma features smoked malt, roasted coffee, bakers chocolate, and molasses. Overall, the nose is mild and the smoke, specifically, is subtle. Fore’s taste follows the nose with a slight roasted malt, molasses, and chocolate sweetness followed by coffee and char bitterness. The smoke comes faintly on the finish. Medium body, creamy texture, moderate carbonation, and a long bitter finish with some smoke.

Photo of MNJR
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A solid, somewhat boozy stout. The smoke flavor is very subtle, with just a hint of smoke coming through for me. The smoke is clearer in the smell than the taste. I think that's a good thing. A little sweetness, and a nice earthy flavor. A little raisin and licorice flavor is in this brew. An interesting and unique stout. I enjoy it enough that I buy two or three 4-packs every time it comes in season.

Photo of Beerguy1969
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice smoky flavor with very little after taste. Another winner from Dark Horse !

Photo of Bpak22
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Run of the mill craft stout

Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Fore looks like it must require a rig, hoisting system, and industrial-sized drill string to produce - nevermind the bottle, how much does it cost by the barrel? Inky, oily, dense, and dark... all words to describe this formidable looking stout. Even its wicked mocha-tinted head is intimidating.

While impressions of burnt logs (i.e., oak) are plausible, the smoke element here is not an overtly "campfire" one and has none of those sooty, fireplace-in-need-of-cleaning notes. If anything it smells of singed hickory or charcoal and is a smokiness associated with BBQ cooking.

And yet it's so very acrid - like burnt coffee. Indeed, Fore tastes just as it looks: black, raw and unrefined. Flavours of dark-roast coffee beans and bitter, smoky cocoa nibs dominate, with only trace amounts of (relatively) sweeter fermented barley grain to lighten things up with a little nuttiness. The taste is likely to stick on your tongue for days.

As it warms, the peat component becomes more apparent. (I should have already mentioned this recipes uses peat-smoked malt in place of beechwood-smoked which is customary of Rauchbiers.) The result is an intense and gritty earthiness that, on some sips, contributes unique (if minor) notes of sea weed, moss, and scorched earth like those of certain single malts.

Eventually, the peat influence permeates its way throughout; before all is said and done you're sure to be smelling a trace of composting vegetal matter alongside all those acrid and smoky coffee beans. It's subtle enough to be unnoticed or ignored if desired to but for me, as a lover of Islay scotches as well as strong stouts, it's what makes this one come out on top. Loved it.

Photo of EvanSalibi
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

This was the first beer I chose on my 21st. It was great in flavor and smooth body. I was not disappointed

Photo of Beer-Ed
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Pours black with a brown head. Aroma of coffee, espresso, chocolate, roast and little bit smoke. Aroma is more chocolate, very light smoked, coffee, low body. Good stuff, not special.

Photo of pagriley
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really like how the smoke is done in this - doesn't overpower but compliments very well

Photo of Nutwood
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance : Dark to opaque mahogany, little to no head.
Nose: Smoke, burnt toast, dark bread
Mouthfeel: Right on for a stout, medium full with some sharpness from the smoke.
Taste: Good, straightforward, nothing unusual or gimmicky, but also unremarable. Nicely burnt toast made from dark dark bread.
Overall: A good affordable go-to when you just gotta have smoked stout.

Photo of hardy008
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark black with a less than one finger mocha head. The aroma has dark chocolate, smoked malt, dark roasted malt, and coffee.

Has a smoky flavor with bot some sweetness and bitterness. There smoked malt, chocolate, dark roasted malt, and coffee. There is also some earthiness.

Medium to full bodied with modest carbonation. There is a light smoked malt aftertaste, Very easy to drink. Worth buying again for sure.

Photo of woodychandler
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The deeper that I go into the Bottle Backlog Eradication of the Summer of 2014, the more wild the beers that are surfacing! A smoked stout!?! What next?

I was anxious to begin and gave it a pretty heavy-handed pour before sitting back to watch the pseudo-cascade. It settled pretty quickly into two fingers of deep-tan/light-brown head, but what happened next was particularly remarkable. It seemed to collapse inwardly on itself and fell much more quickly than I expected, becoming mere wisps. Color was Opaque Black (SRM = 44), allowing zero light penetration. Nose was very smoky, but in more of a burnt charcoal way than the smokiness of a rauchbier. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was more like bittersweet chocolate mingled with a sweet smokiness. It kind of put me in mind of chocolate-covered bacon, which I have tried. I am a fan of smoked beers, but this was a bit sweeter than I like, especially since it seemed to be getting in the way of the smokiness. Finish had that same bittersweet smokiness that I had been getting throughout. I was really kind of underwhelmed, especially given the hype and scores assigned to this beer. Not bad, per se, but leaving a lot of room for improvement.

Photo of jwc215
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with a thin, lasting brown head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of chocolate, roasted coffee, dark earthy tones with a hint of anise.

The taste is of sweet chocolate, smoke (meat-y?) and coffee. It has a lingering earthy finish.

It is medium-to-full bodied.

An excellent, complex but very drinkable, smoked stout.

Photo of barhoc11
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, even for a 7% stout, there is no light getting through this thing

S: Not a lot going on with this

T: Smokey and fruity but not very multidimensional

M: Good thickness to it, not much to complain about

O: Not bad for a smoked stout but not something I would want to have every day

Photo of fscottkey
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Notes: Born on 1/21/14 (current date 6/20/14).

A: pours an oily black and looks thick as it glub glubs out of the bottle. There was a 1/2 finger brawn head that receded quickly to a thin layer.

S: Not getting a lot on the nose.

T: Smokey coffee flavor up front. With a smoke aftertaste.

M: A bit of tingle from the carbonation. Not think or chewy like I anticipated from the pour.

O: This is kind of one note. The smoke is smothering anything more complex. I know it is a smoked stout - so that should be the expectation - but I hoped for some other flavors somewhere in the palate. It is decent tasting but lacks a strong nose and depth int he taste.

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours nearly black. This is as dark a beer as I've ever had - even direct sunlight only barely penetrated at the very edge. The head was chocolate brown, but very thin and with no lacing.

S: Faint smokiness that could be from burnt grain or smoked malt. Chocolate and coffee notes are both present. There's some molasses and dark fruit notes as well.

T: Malt flavors yield sweetness for a brief moment, then the stronger notes of toasted grain take over. Tart fruit flavors take their turn at the forefront, then fade as bitter and finally acrid flavors move in at the finish. The smokiness is there throughout, but always in the distant background of the other flavors.

M: Moist, with below average carbonation. It's somewhat chewy, but less so than I expected from the appearance. Booze is detectable, but not harsh.

O: But for the lackluster head, this is a beautiful stout. The smoke was weaker in both aroma and taste than I'd hoped, or at least seemed that way next to the potency of a stout that nears imperial status. Enjoyable, but not a home run.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into stout pokal; jet black, one of the darkest beers I've seen. Nice solid two-finger head of the darkest brown foam I've ever seen, it was the color of dark chocolate ice cream. Head recedes after a few minutes into a nice ring of foam.
Smells like dark chocolate, coffee, campfire smoke, metallic roasted malt, and hints of sweetness.
Taste follows nose in ingredients but not in quantity. Sweet milk chocolate and toffee take the wheel while bitter coffee/chocolate and ashy smoke try and backseat drive to no avail. Leaves the mouth in sticky sweetness with some lingering bitterness and an ashy feeling like you've been sitting around a campfire for a while.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, clean and wet. Finishes a bit dry at the very end but not much.
Overall, this is a tasty stout. However, with the smoke not playing much of a part and the relatively light body compared to the sweetness of the flavor, you could be convinced this was a chocolate porter or something perhaps. I'd like more smoke from a "smoked stout," but it's still tasty and interesting.

Photo of larryarms847
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is black, but I am noticing some almost red(?) or is it rust(?) hues around the edgers. Very interesting.

Smells like a bonfire, the smokiness is the only thing I can smell.

Taste follows up to the smell, very smoky, slightly sweet caramel hints, but mostly tastes like burning wood.

Mouthfeel, like sucking on burnt woodchips.

Overall this is a mediocre option at best from Dark Horse, I'll stick with Plead the 5th.

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Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,025 ratings.