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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

939 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 939
Reviews: 418
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 50
Gots: 87 | 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: 939 | Reviews: 418 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billab914
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. It poured pitch black with a big and thick dark chocolaty head to it. It had some pretty nice creamy head lasting a while but only left a bit of lacing on the glass.

The aroma shows a lot of both bitter, dark chocolate and sweeter milk chocolate. Some roasted, coffee and burnt flavors come through with just a bit of smoke. Very nice aroma overall.

The taste has a big dark, bitter-sweet chocolate flavor to it. Some roasted and burnt coffee flavors come through in the finish with a moderate smoke flavor to it. The bitter, burnt flavors linger after the finish along with a touch of chocolate.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with carbonation being low. Very nice mouthfeel for the style. Drinkability is good, it's a very flavorful and bold imperial stout. It wasn't as smoky as I hoped but the burnt bitterness was very nice. A very nice beer to sip on this evening.

Photo of EwaldEichstaett
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black beer, there is absolutely no light penetration, the head is a dark brown but it recedes quickly. Lots of bubbles come to the top. No lacing at all.

The beer does not really smell smoky, there are mostly deep dark roasted malts with some hop bitterness detected. Really good smell. You actually start to notice the smoke smell about halfway through, it meshes perfectly with the malts.

The smoked flavor develops upon tasting the beer, it reminds me of charcoal or a bonfire. It does not taste like meat or bacon like many smoked beers. There is a hint of hops on the back-end, but that's about it for the flavor.

The mouth-feel is full but a bit flat. The beer is a bit surupy and clings to the mouth. It is quite drinkable. The smoked flavor is in no way overbearing. Good beer.

Photo of champ103
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque, pitch black color. At first a two finger tan head rises that sticks around for a minute. Some light lace is left as the foam gently recedes to a ring.
S: A nice aroma of roasted and toasted malt, brown sugar, chocolate, and toffee. Some meaty smoke. Very well incorporated.
T: Follows the nose, with some roasted malt, chocolate, and toffee. More smoke here than in the nose. Very similar to smoked meat. Again, very nice and well incorporated.
M/D: A medium to full body and low on the carbonation. Silky smooth and creamy. There is a bit of heat, but overall really easy to drink.

Very enjoyable. This is the typical Dark Horse offering. That is meant as a good thing. A really good Smoke Stout with lots of balance. As always, well done.

Photo of wingman14
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a small mocha head that fades fast. The smell is smoky up front, with plenty of sweet notes, a hint of alcohol and chocolate malt. The first characteristic I noticed was the lack of body that I was expecting from a stout, but the flavor was good, starting subtle and finishing strong. The malt and alcohol were apparent in every sip along with the smoke. More flavors came out as the beer warmed. The mouthfeel was lacking, I was hoping for a heavier beer, but this medium light feel was ok. This one is an easy drinker, lots of flavor, and definitely worth a try.

Photo of russpowell
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from EchoCharlieEcho, cheers Elisabeth!

Pour black as midnight in a cave with 2 fingers of cocoa colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Faint oaky smokeyness & some dark fruit, smokey picks up once pretty warm & slight sourness

T: Dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, charred grain & leafy hops up front, smoke at the edges. Molasses, more assertive smokeyness & a touch of charred grainyness once warm. Finishes dry with slight sourness, & faint coffee flavor & a touch of smokeyness

MF: Medium bodied smooth, some what creamy

Drinks fairly easy, not bad, but doesn't quite pull together. Probably the lowest rated beer for me that I've had from these guys...

Photo of rembrant
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark Horse has become a favorite. They do 5 bottled Stouts,and their Black Bier and Brown Ale could pass for Stout. ALL their big dark brews have a family resemblance,a similar full malt profile with hops subtle,yet responsible for a harmony,and a clever delayed finish. They love to work the Hop/malt interplay to create unexpected transitions. They also do some "add ins" in this case, smoked malts.

look--Stout. Pitch black. Less head than most

Aroma--Big and busy. Roasty toasty stuff from Chocolate to French Roast,licorace to smoke. More a campfire smoke than smoked meat. The smoke element merges elegantly with the coffee/chocolate malt show Dark Horse tends to excel at.

They have a distinctive thing with the hops in that the usual pine/bitter taste is set for a 3 sec delay. Their hops seem to do fruity/herbal at first and morph to a more typical hop finish ...and the smoke kind of lingers with it.
Offsetting the malt bomb is a fruity tartness that's often a variant of cherry,in this case a bit more toward sour pie cherries than dark cherry.,a bitter sweet. No Smoked brew I've seen merges the smoked malt effect with this sort of finesse. No harsh notes in this.

Mouth Nice. Has body,wetness,sparkle,aftertaste,all in proper perspective. This brewer loves surprises and there's transitions and illusions. You get that in mouthfeel,find it hard to judge the viscosity. The carbonation is delayed a moment. After a sweet start, the smoke, hops and that touch of Cherry pie merge into a distinctive and sustained aftertaste. I ought to give it a 5.1. It Dances !

Drinkable? It's good enough I could put off playing with power tools or driving around...just kick back with some Provalone and fresh cherries...call it a good day.

Photo of Beaver13
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours pitch opaque black with a smallish dark brown head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet lactic chocolate, fudge, and some dark fruits with a small touch of smoke (as it warms).

The flavor is sweet lactic chocolate and peaty scotch with a roasted bitter finish. As it warms, a little smoke comes out and the alcohol becomes a bit more noticeable and warming. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and kind of watery.

Overall, a nice stout with good flavors. I didn't pick up on much smoke which was a bit of a bummer.

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

Pour - dark as midnight with a wispy burnt yellow head that is quick to sink into the abyss below.

Aroma - strong, dense malt, dark chocolate, espresso grounds, embers.

Taste - sweet then bitter then sweet again. Some nice smokey notes almost immediately but subtle enough to appreciate everything else that is going on here. Soft mouth feel, some molasses and coffee flavors come and go. Lots of flavor got packed into this beer and it tastes like it was made with lots of love.

Overall - loved it. I love most smoked beers and this one was solid. If you are a fan of big stouts than this will also please your palate.

Would I buy more of it? - I wish.

Photo of StephenRich
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In Marshall Michigan the Dark Horse Brewery is hard at work producing radical beers like the Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock, Sapient Trip Ale, Scotty Karate Scotch Ale,plus a whole mysterious series of stouts which don't even list the alcohol percentage. Litterally, it is not even on the bottle and I haven't been able to find it anywhere.

Last time I was in Michigan I grabbed a single of each beer in the series and have been making my way through them; this past weekend I enjoyed the "Fore" with a friend of mine. "Fore" is the fourth beer in this lineup, it is a smoked stout brewed with peat smoked malt, so I was pretty excited to try it. Of the others in the series; a Blueberry Stout, Cream Stout, Oatmeal Stout and Imperial Stout, this Smoked Stout was my favorite.

No, the ABV is not listed, but I am going to guess that this 341ml bottles clocks in around 7%.

I split this bottle into two tulip glasses for my friend and I. The pour was slick and oily lifting a dark brown mocha colored head - really very nice. It was dense and dark with reasonable retention, but did fade to a short film within a few minutes. The beer itself has no color to think of; it is pitch black, deep and alluring. MMMmmmm.

The nose is rich and sweet with woody smoke and molasses right up front. Dark chocolate malt and roast malt show huge aromatic profiles and charred wood also hides softly in the back. Cocoa and smoke definitely dominate this beer so far, but still a sweet malty balance is always lingering; maybe with a hind of blackberry.

The Fore Smoked Stout comes in with deep and wide malts immediately - chocolate and roasted barley are massively rich and glide across your tongue with ease. Smoke fills your cheeks with light sweetness, but not peat smokiness. The malt's richness is smooth and long showing dark chocolate, roast and then a touch of espresso to dry off the palate and balance the sweetness. I was hoping for more peaty or whisky smoke, but it comes off as slightly sweet rather than distinct.

A touch of hops clean up the mad array of flavors at the end leaving a light smoke and roasted note in your mouth. The mouthfeel was nice and smooth with a very silky touch to it. It was not very heavy, while it was packed with flavor. I would say that it was a reasonable smoke stout, but nothing to write home about, just the internet.

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

Thanks Jon. The smoke aromas are paramount. Pours black, great lace. above average mouthfeel. Coffee, smoke in flavour.Above average mouthfeel.Good and drinkable smoked that scored way about imperial stouts and porters in this tasting Another amazing stout from this brewery.

Photo of thain709
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured with a black body and a foamy, espresso tinted head...the head showed slow retention but finally gave up a disappeared...not much lacing

S - The nose has roasted and smoked malts...that's about all I can pick up

T - The roast and smoke stand out in the flavor as well...the roasted malts emerge first and the smoke flavor comes in behind them to add a second level to the beer...there is a chocolate/coffee flavor profile going on as many stouts present...there is also a touch of milk sweetness creeping around

M - Medium bodied...thin and watery at some points...could have used more creaminess

D - This stout wasn't bad...it was my first smoked stout and I actually enjoyed the smoke flavors...the mouthfeel just threw me off a little

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Black color. Almost one finger of frothy/creamy hybrid medium brown head. Retention isn't the greatest and lacing is minimal.

4.5 S: Very nice here. Smells more like a smoked porter than stout, but whatever. The smokiness is on the lower end, but it works really well. Good toastiness, black malt, and roasted coffee. Clean, but slightly grainy and dry. Very nice.

4.5 T: Again, smoked porter like due to the lack of residual sweetness and touch of graininess. Smoke again is subtle, but works well. Black malt and roasted coffee again along with some general burntness. Hints of chocolate. Clean and well rounded.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could be a bit creamier, but nothing too out of whack.

4.0 D: Pretty good beer. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm starting to think that Dark Horse makes some damn fine beer.

Photo of JackieTH
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fore poured an inky dark brown/black very viscous-appearing with a thick but very short-lived head that leaves a web of tan foam bubbles lacing across the surface.

A rich aroma greets the nose, definitely sweet like black strap, chocolaty, hints of roasting coffee, tied with a subtle smokiness and black strap molasses.

Flavor follows the nose hand in hand...roast coffees, mild dark chocolates, and smokiness throughout, but definitely not overpowering.

Luxurious mouthfeel, very smooth, creamy with just the right amount of carbonation to provide a little bite.

So far I continue to be impressed by Dark Horse's stout line up. This is another good one from them and it's getting harder for me to pick a Dark Horse favorite.

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

Late night bottle into a snifter.

A- two big fingers of brown head from a hard pour that settles quickly to a s ring and a few wisps.

S- earthy roast and mild smoke. Hints of brown sugar sweetness and some chocolate.

T- dark malts and roasted coffee. Peat like smoke, hints of blackberry brandy, dark chocolate, toasted almonds. Very well balanced.

M- a bit less then medium body and about the same carb. Dry finish.

D- tasty stuff and to too heavy on the smoke. I'd like to try it paired up with some killer smoked meats.

Photo of colts9016
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this through a BIF,thank you. Poured into a pint glass at 41 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger dark brown head that is creamy and bubbly. The color of the beer is dark brown/black. The clarity of the beer is opaque. There is some carbonation bubbles on the side of the glass.

Nose: A rich hickory dark malt aroma blasts your nose. There are also notes of yeast, bread crust, bacon, and phenols. There is a sublte note of solvents and molasses.

Taste: A very rich dark malt flavor there is coffee, molasses, hickory, smoke, caramel, yeast, bread crust, and bacon. There are notes of phenols, solvents, and fire.

The mouth feel is rich, smokey, and dry.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium full and the finish is full. This beer reallty suprised me. I was afraid that the blast of the hickory smoke was going to over take the palate, but it didn't The flavor was consisting and balanced. A good beer nonetheless.

Photo of KAP1356
2.98/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Weyerbacher tulip glass. Pretty excited for this one...

A - Pours very black; no surprise there. A one finger dark mocha colored head forms and slowly recedes to a slight mocha colored film on the top of the beer.

S - So far, it smells just like a slightly roastier stout. Nothing yet has led me to believe that this is a smoked stout.

T - I'm beginning to think that this was mislabeled or something. There is no smokiness whatsoever. It just tastes like another stout, although slightly bland to be honest. It really tastes like several ingredients are missing from this...most notably the smoke.

M - A nice creaminess but still a little thin for what I would want a stout to be.

D - Well I'm not sure how drinkable this one would be if it were the beer I thought I eas drinking

***Please take this review with a grain of salt as I am fairly certain this bottle was mislabelled.

Photo of rawthar
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- I make a point to drink a lot of stouts, and this one has one of the coolest head-to-body color combination, between the burnt redwood of the head and the black cola of the body, although the head doesn't stick around long.

S- Smoke is less pronounced than expected, more of a burnt campfire wood smell balanced with a little bit chocolate and toffee, some dark roasts, and a tiny hint of booze. Very nice.

T- Here's where the smoke really comes out, kind of drowning out the other complexities. A little bit of sour milk on the front end with a dry oaky finish. Not quite as tasty as the smell hinted at, but still a very nice stout. Bitter joint roach aftertaste.

M- A lot of biting carbonation to the tongue, creamy going down, definitely leaves a coat in the back of the palette. Thicker than some of the big name RIS's I've tried.

D- One is enough for sure, but a great one indeed.

I'm looking forward to cellaring a few of these guys, and even though the abv is unlisted, I believe this has what it takes to age nicely.


Photo of Cyberkedi
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is rich and very smoky with a chocolaty undertone and hints of burnt wood and molasses. It pours a beautiful opaque sable, just a whisker above black, with a thick, fine-bubbled tan head. Rich flavor is very smoky and has tones of molasses, fine roast coffee and unsweet chocolate as well as a tiny fishy hint. Texture is thick, smooth, oily and just a little tingly. This one is a must!

Photo of Metalmonk
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous looking beer...totally opaque black in color, with a toasted-marshmallow golden-brown head. When I see something this black with this kind of head, I think of Dark Lord. No doubt Dark Lord gets better ratings on appearance because it's Dark Lord, but that's not exactly fair to a sweet looker like Fore Smoked Stout. Anyway...

Smells wonderful too. Cocoa nibs, fresh milk and graham cracker prevail amidst the toasty, smoky aroma. The requisite chocolate and coffee traits smelled/tasted in so many stoust, too. This is one smoked beer whose aroma isn't dominated by smoke, which is exactly why I'm happy to give it a 4.5. While we're comparing to better-known beers, I thought of both Old Rasputin and Storm King when taking in Fore's smell, which shows it's not a totally smoke-drenched thing.

Flavor-wise, while smoke definitely is a part of the picture, it's not the whole picture. There's a burnt chocolate aspect, earthy mineral/metallic traits, and super-dark roast coffee bitterness too. A bit of alcohol in the back of the sip, which emerges more with warming, and ends up coming into the aroma with warming too. But nothing crazy, I'm guessing this is in the 6.5-6.9% range (?). Not as milky or gooey sweet as I prefer my stouts, but it's obviously not attempting to sit in that part of the stout realm.

The unobtrusive, medium-body increases the stout's drinkability I guess...a little more carbonation than I expected, also a little bit sticky, but basically nothing totally out-of-whack in this department.

Between the smoke, mineral and the burnt chocolate, this has a kind of carbonized vibe to it, which is cool, but can be a little tiresome. That said, it's still an adequately well-rounded and, thankfully, multi-dimensional stout. Smoke is only a part of the equation here.

Photo of jlindros
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from Julios.

A: Very dark colored fluffy head of 1 finger fades quickly over pitch black color. No light coming through.

N: Creamy dark malts, some roast and chocolate, but not a lot. A little sweet caramel malt. A slight smoked malt aroma, and some dark malts. A very generic smoked or rauch bier like aroma. A little smoked meat aroma, some dark sweet malted brown sugar smell.

T: Taste has lots of smoke. An interesting smoked malt flavor, smoked meats and cheese even, a little sweet malt and brown sugar, chewy malts, some creamy dark malts, slight roasted barley. A slight generic sweet malt flavor too, the typical malt flavor for smoked beers. It has this plastic like flavor that really makes me cringe a bit. Almost like melting a plastic cup into this beer as I taste it.

M: Med to thicker body with lower carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly bitter from the roasted malts. Lingering smoked malt flavors, little smoked meats and cheese. Again it has that generic almost plasticy like lingering flavor, I really wish that wasn't there. Otherwise more brown sugar lingering, but quite dry.

Photo of mondegreen
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Stone tulip.

Pours black with dark red highlights. Dark tan head sticks around for just a bit. Nose is toasty with some dark chocolate. I'm not picking up much smoke, maybe just a touch. The dark chocolate bitterness comes to the front in the taste. I'd actually like it to be more smoky. It just tastes like a decent American stout to me. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. I'm digging the chocolate flavors. It isn't what I expected, but it's a good beer nonetheless.

Photo of biglite351
2.85/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - black as a witches heart. Near brown head that unfortunately leaves no lacing at all.

S - overall scent is light, but is mostly smoke, some malt and coffee.

T - mostly smoke, some roasted malt and coffee.

M - lite coating some on the teeth. Mild to.Fleury at top of back of throat and under tongue.

D - smoke is a novelty so maybe just one.

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass, courtesy once again of Jeff (Alewatcher)! I have a particular love (at least lately) for smoked beers, so this one is particularly appreciated. Another bow to your generosity; thanks, Jeff!

Pours black, with a one-finger creamy mocha head. Great retention, and very nice lacing and stickage as well. Really, almost everything you could want from an American Stout.

Nose is smokey, first and foremost - dry campfire, a bit peaty, with an underlying bit of earthy chocolate poking its head in as well.Very light candy sweetness in there also.

Taste is nice, almost sessionable, though perhaps a bit one-dimensional. The dry smokiness is lighter than expected, and pairs up with a bit of roasty acidity and a noticeable underlying caramel sweetness, which seems a bit thin because of the acidity. Finish is exceptionally clean for a smoked beer, with the smokiness giving way largely to notes of sweet caramel and chocolate. A bit of smokiness lingers, but it's a ghost by the finish.

Mouthfeel is quite nice. Medium bodied, with a nice, moderate carbonation that's just a bit creamy. Smokey acidity dries out the finish nicely. Really satisfying.

Drinkability is very good. Surprisingly so. The flavor could use a bit of refining, but regardless of that, drinkability is quite good for the style.

Photo of Tballz420
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as oil, no hues coming through when held to light. Tiny brown head doesnt stay long. Scent is all chocolate malts with a touch of campfire. Same for the taste. Smoke is there but its blended in; not as obvious as some of the other smokes ive had. Fairly full mouth, wet. Not a bad stout

Photo of wagenvolks
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Fore pours with an inky, deep seal brown hue. Nearly opaque, with a hint of coffee color at the edges. The head is the color of tanned leather, and quickly recedes to a thin ring of foam. Solid aroma, with equal parts dark chocolate and dark fruit leading the way. Fig, plum, and lots of Baker's chocolate plus hints of coffee and roasted malts. Not getting too much 'smoke' out of Fore, but the earthy hops in the background add a nice balance to the malt.

Much more smoke in the flavor, with a hint of band-aids and charred bacon. The smokiness sort of clashes with dry, dark chocolate nibs and over-ripened dark fruits. Mouthfeel is exceptionally dry and has too much carbonation for the style. Drinks much more like a porter than a stout, as Fore lacks that much-needed creaminess and full body. All in all, an interesting beer, but this is one-and-done for me. Worth trying, but I'd rather have a true stout and/or a rauchbier.

Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 939 ratings.