1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

901 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 901
Reviews: 413
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 52
Gots: 80 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 901 | Reviews: 413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of meatyard
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A fairly vigorous pour gives a good 2-finger, milk chocolate shake colored head that falls to a cover without lacing. The body is a very dark, opaque black.
The smell is dark, smoky malt followed by some semi-sweet chocolate.
In the taste, the smoke pops in stronger than the aroma in the beginning. A nice dose of cocoa follows next and finishes with some lingering coffee and sweetish, roasted malt.
Mouthfeel is a solid medium with low carbonation.
Drinkability: This is a very pleasant stout. It's easy to drink and the ABV doesn't feel very high so that 2 or 3 wouldn't be a problem. I was expecting a bit more smoke in the taste but there is some there and no reason to knock it for there not being more of it.

meatyard, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Part of the Dark Horse tasting...part four of the five stouts.

A- Pours out a deep black color. Motor oil really...looks thick from out of the bottle. One finger off white head dies pretty quick. Light whisps across the top of the beer. Light lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- First off this wasn't as smokey as I thought it was going to be. This really doesn't matter though. Bitter baker's chocolate mixes with a roasted malt base. The smoke comes into play with notes here and there never really playing a huge part of it. Light BBQ smell to this as well I think.

T- The smoke comes through a little more in the flavor I think. The chocolate notes come through first along with the roasted malts. The smoked flavor pairs well with the roasted malts but seems a bit off with the chocolate notes. Light metallic taste as well. Overall short and to the point in the flavor. Alcohol is well hidden and makes a appearance only a couple of times.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Big roasted malts left on the palate and show back up on the aftertaste along with some light smoked flavor. Light oxidation taste that mixes well actually with the stout as whole. Full flavors through and through.

D- Another very drinkable beer from Dark Horse. I enjoy this one a lot because it is something that is not done much at all. Cheers to Aaron for choosing this beer as something to not only make but bottle as well.

alleykatking, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of JToad
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thick dark opaque, with nice caramel foamy head. Stick lacing on the side of the glass.

Smells amazing, with a nose of roasted malts, tobacco and hints of cocoa.

Tastes of smoked charcoal, slightly metallic. Coffee is present, along with the tobacco. Maybe even prune or other dark fruit.

Not as heavy as it looks, could use to have a bit more body. Not thin, but just not as viscous as Id like.

Drinkability is tough with a smoked beer like this. I can't imagine drinking more than one of these.

All in all a solid brew. Very tasty and complex. I'm a big Dark Horse fan. Never had a bad brew.

JToad, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of jamie2dope
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It is very cool to see Dark Horse make its presence known in Mass. Smoked Stout (how many of those do you see around?) comes out a completely pitch black, with a creamy, large tan head. Dark roasted malt in the smell, combined with some dark chocolate, earth, and just a little bit of the smoke factor. The dark chocolate shines through in the taste, with some earth tones, and the smoke in the background, keeping things interesting. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, which was the last thing I was expecting from a smoked stout. It has the silky texture of a cask ale, but with just a bit of carbonation. Difficult to nail down the ABV on this one, although it does not taste boozy at all. I like the fact that the smoke is not overwhelming on this one. It makes it that much more drinkable and approachable. Another fine addition to the lineup from this brewery. Cannot wait to get some of there one off beers here soon. Cheers

jamie2dope, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of tubacharlie
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Roast coffee aroma right away with a little hint of earthy smoke.

Pours with smallish head that quickly clears without lacing. A deep, dark brown to black color, the density caries over to the mouth, where the light carbonation smoothes out the flavors of smoked dark chocolate and espresso, with a little latte creaminess. The peat-smoked malt is subtly present without too much imposition on the well-balanced hops, whose bitter presence lingers at the center of the palate.

No abv listed, but I'd guess around 6 or 7%.

Great choice to accompany smoked fish with some strong cheese and crusty bread.

tubacharlie, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of pmccallum86
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown/black with a thick bubbly coffee colored head.

Big roasted malt aroma, big smoke aromas as well. Smells a little like BACON!

Very smooth drinking beer, smoked taste right up front. Nice balance of roasted malt flavors with the smokiness. Sometimes it seems smoked beers can be extremely smoky, but I enjoy how balanced this beer is. Hops come through in the finish with a nice little bitterness, very nicely done beer.

Very smooth and creamy with medium carbonation.

Great drinkability, one of the better smoked beers that I have encountered,

pmccallum86, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Almost there... The end is in sight for my trek through Dark Horse's seasonal stouts. For the record, I'll likely save Plead the 5th for tomorrow.

A: How many times can you type 'dark' and 'black' and 'mysterious'? This stout is no exception from those that came before it. The one has the lightest colored head, eggshell white maybe.

S: The stout shows off roasted flavors accentuated by cocoa powder and chocolate. Smoke lingers around but it isn't the dominant factor in the nose.

T: The stout body is full and lush, a very rich flavor that is strong from the get-go. Roasted grains, burnt and acrid, stand out. Chocolate and cocoa stick around long after each sip is gone, a pleasant reminder of the fullness of the stout. Smoke, while it hangs around, doesn't really define (or contribute) to the stout. The stout, sans the smoke, is able to show-off its strong malty side. The best of the group thus far.

M: Dark chocolate and sweet cocoa powder, burnt grains, toast. What's there not to like in that line-up? Perhaps a little more smoke would be nice.

D: A moderate stout, not too heavy but not too light. The chocolate and cocoa mix works for me.

akorsak, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of bwiechmann
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A- Pours a viscous oily-black- impenetrable. Khaki head dissipates and leaves minor lacing.

S- Smoke. Also aromas of dark, bitter chocolate; french roast coffee; earthy oak in the background.

T- Complex. Primarily roasted malts and earthy smoke flavors up front. Well balanced with dark chocolate and coffee notes. Maybe a subtle nutty note in the background.

M- Medium-full bodied with higher than expected carbonation.

D- Interesting beer, intense smoke throughout the experience. Very drinkable and quite tasty. Might have to pick up a few more of these when I'm in the mood.

bwiechmann, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of Shumista
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I really like the idea of Dark Horse's stout series. I think this is 3rd that I have tried. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a plain pint glass.

Pours like an imperial, pitch black with a dark brown head. Pretty viscous looking stuff. Smells of dark roasted malt and smokey barbecue.
The smoke is very present in the taste, still leaning toward being reminiscient of barbecue smoke (actually it reminds me most of liquid smoke, an artificial smoke flavoring used for cooking). Also some coffee and chocolate. Mouthfeel is pretty thick. Drinkability is ok for one or two but I find myself not really knowing what to do with the rest of the 4 pack. In time I'm sure they will get drank one way or another.

Shumista, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of tigg924
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, opaque, black in color

Smell: smoked chocolate malt, bit of coffee

Taste: balck coffee, roasted malt, some smoke and charcoal

Mouthfeel: medium/heavy bodied, slightly-sweet, medium/low carbonation

Drinkability: A better than average but not great smoked beer. I could have a couple but have no desire to finish a four pack. Decent and worth a try.

tigg924, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of DrDoitchbig
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured an extremely dark, opaque black with slight brown edges. It looks nearly identical to it's sister beer Tres. The difference being is for whatever reason this one poured with a much more impressive three finger head that looked like a chocolate milkshake. It faded down fairly quickly into a light dusting with collar and no lacing to speak of.

Smell: I do believe it's safe to say that this beer begins life with a very similar base as Tres. Dark chocolate and roasted malts are prevalent with a strong dose of smoke that almost reminds me of mesquite smoked barbecue. It's not very complex and kind of strange, but still enjoyable.

Taste: The taste follows the smell to an extent. The smoke seems to be less powerful on the palate. It still has a mesquite barbecue undertone about it, but I wouldn't consider it meaty. It mixes well with the roasted malts, but clashes a bit with the strong dark chocolate tones.

Mouthfeel: Solid medium to full body here with a moderate, but not exemplary creaminess. Carbonation was on point for an American Stout.

Drinkability: The combination of smokey barbecue and dark chocolate might have been a little far off in left field for me. It's a solid beer and I did enjoy the experience, Hell I might even have it again. But it's not going to be a regular staple.

Having gone all the way through my bottle I still believe this has a similar base to Tres. It's a very solid American Stout backbone. But with such a strong affinity towards dark chocolate I feel blueberry mingles with it much better than smoke. The end result is me wishing I had a bottle of Tres hanging around.

DrDoitchbig, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Local store just started getting Dark Horse brews...

A: Perfectly pitch black with no head at all.

S: Smells kind of like a Ten Fidy, but not as strong of a scent. Smoaky bacon scent. Kind of strange.

T: Very watery and hoppy upfront with a hint of smokiness on the backend. Not bad, but not much specaial about this one.

M: Syrupy with a hint too much carbonation. Good, but not great.

D: Goes down a little tougher because of the hoppy smokiness. Not bad.

All in all, there is not much special going on in this brew. A little too much of a smoky / bacon flavor. Otherwise it's an ok brew. Not worth hunting down or trying. If you want to try something new, then maybe, otherwise, not worth your time.

steve8robin, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of Reagan1984
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Draught2012 for pulling this out of his 4pack and handing it to me. Very happy that Dark Horse has made it to Ma. The three beers of their's. I've had, I loved.

Decided to enjoy this in my snifter glass to try to accentuate the smoked nature of this. Even with an aggressive pour I only could get a 1/2 a finger of dark tan head. This did fade almost immediately. The color was darker than I expected. Totally opaque and the darkest brown. Not much lacing.

Aroma is sweet and dark. I'm waiting, but no smoke. Maybe some light coffee and certainly dark roasted malt.

Definitely a bigger stout than I imagined. There is a roasty depth to the dark flavor and that is as close to smoke as I get. Some sweetness and dark chocolate/cocoa powder. Roasty aftertaste and a little charcoal.

Medium to thick body and velvety smooth. Just a pin prick of carbonation.

Decent little stout despite the absense of the smoke.

Reagan1984, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of tedsox31
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this beer from bottle into my snifter. It's a viscous, jet-black pour, with a tan creamy head that sticks around. Some lacing is left behind.

The nose is full of smoke, some sweetness, and then a lot of roast...coffee, dark chocolate, black malt and the like. It smells sweeter and more fruity as it warms.

The taste is very similar to the smell. Smoke and sweet are present up front, and this is followed by nice roasty flavors that linger even after swallowing.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy. It is a smooth beer with medium-low carbonation, and definitely has a taste that lingers after swallowing.

A very drinkable beer. Quite tasty, and one that I am glad that I got. While it won't be your typical example, well worth it to try it out if you get the chance.

tedsox31, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of klewis
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A thick and black as motor oil sort of pour with a moderate, bubbly head. Little lacing.

S: Mocha and chocolate with a mild, earthy smoke smell and a light oak aroma.

T: Strong earthy and smoke flavors yet nicely balanced and well-supported by the base. Bitter chocolate and coffee round out the complex and multi-dimensional taste.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation and a slick and oily texture.

D: Interesting, tasty, and highly drinkable. This one is a winner.

klewis, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of mothman
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Bruery snifter

Pours 1/2 finger of tan head that fades to a thin ring. No lace left. Color is a deep black.

Aroma: Lots or roasted nuts and peanut oil. Some smokey notes with dark chocolate. Also has some fresh coffee notes.

Taste: Lots and lots of roasted/burnt malts with a big smoke flavor. Some nut flavors again with some grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: Roasted and smokey. Very crisp for the style. Medium to full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends very dry, smokey, and malty.

Overall, this beer is extremely smokey. Almost too much smoke. Decent stout, but the smoke really covers up a lot of the flavors though. Not something I want a lot o

mothman, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of Parrotbeak
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with almost no trace of light passing through. Brown, fizzy head that recedes leaving some patches and a ring around the perimeter.
Definite smoke on the nose, with some chocolate, coffee, cream and cinnamon.
Most prominent feature of the taste definitely is the smoke. As with all smoke/rauch ales I've had, there's a little bit of sausage as well. Faint coffee and chocolate. Very good.
Mouthfeel is quite crisp and refreshing for a stout. And it's fairly smooth with a little bitterness. Fairly moderate-to-light body.
This one is very drinkable for me. This is what I'd call an almost perfect hybrid of a rauchbier and stout.

Parrotbeak, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of camp0474
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - No light getting through this stout. Dark maroon carbonation dies off quickly.

S - Faint smells of smoke coming through with malt.

T - Take the first sip and the smokiness takes form. The smoke flavor adds a small amount of unexpected bite on the palate. Flavor tends to linger and not in a bad way. Dry finish.

M - Medium Body with little carbonation.

D - Easy to drink. Good balancing of light smoke with a solid stout.

Can't I would have this style of beer everyday, but would definitely have it again. The smokiness adds something you don't get with many other beers.

camp0474, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of OneDropSoup
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker: black body with a finger of dark mocha head, drops ot a dusting with some cola-like bubbles.

Smells of dark chocolate with a cool cherry-like finish. A graham cracker or shortbread-like malt presence in there, get nutty with warmth.

Cocoa with some roasted bitterness. Slight dark fruit acidity in the middle, finishes with a roast bitterness & a sublte smokiness that's as much ashy as it is smoky.

Pretty smooth mouthfeel made just a little sharp with sting from roast & acidity.

Solid, not bad at all but not real remarkable either. Easily quaffable. The distinguishing part is subtle, not sure I'd know to look for it if it wasn't advertised in the name.

OneDropSoup, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-dark black liquid, motor oil basically, thin bubbly head that is the darkest mocha brown out there. No lace or retention though

S-the nose is quite big and extremely smokey. Smooked wood up dominates, a touch of coffee and some bakers chocolate

T-the smokiness dominates the taste and brings huge smokey flavors, wood chips, licorice, dark chocolate.

M-good medium body, towards the full end, extremely smooth and creamy, highly carbonated.

D-great body but too smoky to enjoy a ton of them. The flavors are big, which I enjoy; but it seems overly smokey.

cpetrone84, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with chocolate colored head. No lacing to speak of, not great on the retention either. When it's cold, this one smells like a wet dog, which is not appealing. As it warms, however, more roasted notes come out with some nice smooth smokiness. Taste is pretty good, the smoke isn't overpowering at all. Tastes kind of like Stone Smoked Porter to me, maybe a bit smokier. MF is a bit thin, though a pretty good stout overall. Drinks well, I was happy I had it, though I'm not sure I'll be revisiting it.

LordAdmNelson, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of herman77
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with minimal dark brown/orangish head. Dark cocoa smell with smoky malt. Taste remind me of their oatmeal stout without the sweetness. Creamy...Dark unsweetened chocolate with a lot roasted malt. Pretty much the same mouthfeel as that too. Just like their oatmeal stout, it seems a just a little overly carbonated. I pick up a little smokiness at the end. It lingers for a long time.

I was a little disappointed by this one. I was expecting it to be a lot more smoky, maybe this is because I'm a big fan of smoky, peaty Islay whiskies like Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Lagavulin. Curious about the ABV, does anyone know?

herman77, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into SA perfect pint glass.

A: pitch black, very dark brown 1 finger head which looks like cocoa, good retention

S: a hint of smoked wood up front followed by molasses and chocolate sweetness, some coffee notes

T: The smoke is there in a very subtle way and sits in the background while big sweet notes dominate the palate such as dark fruit, molasses and dark chocolate. There is a bit of smoke again on the finish. Nice balance for the most part, but the sweetness seemed to be slightly overpowering

MF: nice thick chewy texture, medium carbonation

D: another winner from Dark Horse. I really like what they do with their stouts and this one is no exception. A very enjoyable beer.

homebrew311, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Horse has been releasing some of the best beers I have had lately. Most noteworthy are their line of Stouts, which are fantastic. Here is my review of their Smoked Stout:

A: Pours pitch black. Very dark and thick with a nice creamy brown head.

S/T: The aroma is very smokey and sweet. A little bit of dark fruit and roast as well. Taste is very good. Lots of dominant smoke flavor along with your typical Stout roastiness. Coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, and the finish is definetly on the smokey and burnt side. It definetly lingers, so if you don't like smokey beers, this one might be too much.

M/D: Mouthfeel is fairly full bodied with a nice creamyness. Very smooth. Drinkability is very good. A nice after dinner beer.

Dark Horse has quickly become one of my favorite breweries as of late. Almost every beer I have had from them has been extremely impressive. This isn't my favorite Stout I have had from them, but it is definetly unique and well worth a shot.

OldSchoolGamer, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of bluejacket74
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch brown head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is smoked and roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, wood, and some dark fruit. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there is also some licorice noticable in the taste along with a nice lingering smoky and sweet finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and it is coating with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good, it's smooth and very easy to drink as the alcohol isn't noticable at all. I think this is a good overall brew, good thing I bought a 4 pack of this!

bluejacket74, Jan 31, 2010
Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 901 ratings.