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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

980 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 980
Reviews: 424
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 9.72%
Wants: 60
Gots: 102 | 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: 980 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DannyDan
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a blackish-brown body with a 1"tan head that has good retention and good lacing. The smell is some chocolate, coffee, roasted smoked malts and some dark fruits. The taste is smoked malts throughout along with strong bitter chocolate followed by some coffee, molasses and some sweet dark fruits at the end. I'm guessing the dark fruits is mostly raisins. The aftertaste is dark fruits and chocolate, reminds me of dark chocolate covered raisins. The mouthfeel is a smooth and creamy feel that leaves a bit of sweetness and dryness in the mouth. The good taste and smoothness of this stout makes it a nice beer to enjoy with some smoked cheese and/or dark chocolate candy.

Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

a - Pours a jet black color with one finger of tan head that leaves very quickly and moderate carbonation evident. Looks exactly like Dark Horse's Too and Tres.

s - Smells of smoke, roasted malts, dark fruits, chocolate, and coffee. Smoke is up front in the nose, but not overpowering. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, dark fruits, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, light smokiness. Not nearly as much smoke as in the nose. It's not up front in the taste but comes through a bit in the aftertaste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth.

d - A pretty nice stout. I liked the nose a lot but would have liked a little more smoke in the taste. Would have again.

Photo of aasher
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a midnight black, viscous, with a light dark khaki head that laced the glass. I know this beer is released in January but I think this may be from last year due to all of the sediment in the bottom of the bottle. This beer doesn't smell any different from the Dark Horse One Oatmeal stout. It has dark, rich roasted malts, slight smoke, some oak, and has a lactic acid like sweetness that fades to bitterness. The longer you sip the beer the more smoke you get in the nose. The taste is better than the Oatmeal in my opinion. It surprising starts out as bitter chocolate before finishing with moderate smoke. The more you drink it the sweeter the chocolate becomes. I like it. It doesn't have the lactic acid that the Oatmeal can have. It drinks pretty smoothly and still has good carbonation that tingles the palate. This is probably my favorite one of their stouts. It's also pretty drinkable considering it's probably around 8%, like the Oatmeal.

Photo of ByTor2112
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Flanagan's in Appleton, WI.
Pours dark black, no light escapes, not even at the edge of the glass. A puffy brown layer of foam rises with the pour but recedes to some thin tight bubbles and ring of foam around the edge.
Aroma-coffee, cocoa powder and I detect a slightly sour lactic milk stout aroma. Deep roated malt aromas too.
Mouthfeel-Medium to low carbonation delivers a silky coating to the palate. Bittersweet bakers chocolate comes through and the finish hints at some herbal hops. Almost clean. Some char can be found with a froth on the palate. Good dark roated malt flavors mix in as well. I was expecting a more aggressive smoke flavor, but this is a very pleasing stout and I like the subtleness of the smoke. Tastes like a milk stout with the char and the dark roasted flavors coming and going.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black color stout with a medium size light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light smoked notes with some black chocolate and dry roasted notes. Taste is also a nice enough mix between some light smoke notes with some black chocolate and a dry roasted malt finish. Body was full with a nice creamy texture and some good carbonation. Well brewed stout though smoked notes are not as prominent as I would have expected.

Photo of arboristfish
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark black color, with a very interesting color head. This head is the darkest tan I have ever seen. The aroma smells of roasted malts but mostly smoke. The taste starts out strong with smoke, maybe a smoked meat like flavor, switching over to a sweet yet bitter roasted malt flavor. The mouthfeel is thick, and it is more of a sipping beer.

Photo of Jayli
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from G311 via Nobody Wants to See a Beer Geek Naked!3 so a big THANK YOU goes out to him.
Poured in to a pint glass
consumed 12/17

A: This beer pours a dark, opaque brown with no head, just a milimeter of brown film that holds through the beer. Spotted lacing is left on the glass.

S: Nose is dark fruit, licorice, touch of booze and vanilla.

T: Taste starts with a bit of dark fruit - raisin and date. A hint of caramel and then a nice roastiness. Licorice flavoring comes in while you start to get an alcohol warming. Finish has a nice campfire smokiness.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, rather crisp body on this.

D: Goes down easily, quite tasty, not too filling, decent kick and a nice representation of style. I enjoyed this beer quite a bit.

Photo of SykDoc
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. It pours a thick black forming 1/2 inch very dark brown head leaving essentially no lacing.

The aroma seemed a bit weak. This could be related to me working with my fireplace. Still, aroma is primarily roasted coffee beans, chocolate, a molasses sweetness, and a hint of smoke.

The taste is better with that again upfront roasted coffee bean bite, followed by smoke, and finishing with a chocolaty/molasses sweetness.

The mouthfeel is medium/full bodied but seemingly thin, with a bit too much carbonation for the flavor. Leaves a nice dryness at the finish.

This is an easily drinkable beer although it seems a bit light for a stout and somewhat lacking in smoke. Still solid in the major categories.

Photo of drtacks37
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sorry boys and girls, this review is more for my own notes. I tried the DH Smoked Stout last night after quite a few other beers, so my memory and taste may have been a bit altered.

I remember:
It was nice and dark with a nice white head that left significant lacing.

All my friends and I were very excited by the aroma, which was very roasted coffee flavors with an obvious smoke overtone.

The beer drank nicely with a heavy, smooth body. The flavor was well balanced between coffee flavors and a nice smoke. It was much better balanced than some other Smoke Stouts that I have had.

This beer went down easy despite it's heaviness and is one that I definitely want to try again.

Photo of shadow1961
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout pours a deep chocolate colored head over an inky black brew. The nose is smoke (though not cloying) over dark chocolate with notes of leather. The flavor is more of that smoke with roasty malts and bakers chocolate notes, with a little bite of charred bread off the end for balance. Mouthfeel is smooth and round, with a long mellow finish. Smoked ales are pretty tricky- that particular flavor is so aggressive it's easy to end up with a beer that tastes like a Slim Jim©. Four finds that proper balance- the smoke is a point of complexity that does not dominate.

Photo of Stigs
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, the last of the stout series from Dark Horse for me to try. poured into a 12oz tall tulip glass.

A - pours with about half an inch of frothy, yet slightly loose dark khaki colored foam. the beer is, well...black as it should be. no lacing to be found.

S - very dark, charred malts...picking up some faint charcoal and ash as well. smoke comes through as that (ash) more than a lot of others, being less "meaty". dark chocolate and molasses consumes most of the sweetness.

T - begins as expected with dark, slightly bitter and roasty malts. smoke immediately sets in a bit, with bits of worcestershire sauce, and ash. other notes of tobacco and molasses creep in towards the end.

M - hmmm...might be me but this is lacking a bit of body, as everything flavor-wise falls apart a little bit after a second or so. carbonation is moderate yet somewhat lively, which adds to the thin feel. finishes in a flash, with some lingering roastiness and just a hinn of smoke, slightly chalky.

D - more of a plain (yet well performed) stout with a hint of smoke than a full fledged Smoked Stout. still, works very well on a rainy and slightly chilly fall night. this might work well in some chili or stew.

Photo of rka758
3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into tulip
$8/4 pack
A: Pours a deep black with little to no head. There does exist a thin lacing along the outer edges which is a nice mocha brown.
S: A subtle nose, not enough smoke for a beer with "smoke" in it's name. Smells of sweet malts, molasses, and roasted coffee.
T: Tastes like it smells -- not enough smoke in my opinion. I do get smoke like tastes such as tabacco leaf, but mostly sweet malts, and roasted coffee.
M: Highly carbonated and a little thin for my liking.
D: A bit of a let down; I was hoping for a great beer and I feel like I got average. I would have like more smoke and a little less carbonation. I'm gonna try laying one of these down for a bit, if for no other reason than why not.

Photo of kzoobrew
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes, enjoyed on 11/07/10.

Black, opaque body. There is absolutely no chance for light to breach the surface of this beer. A two and a half finger mocha head emerges after a moderately strong pour. Retention was quite decent, a slim cap is left floating atop until completion. Scattered lacing left clinging to the glass.

The aroma displays a nice balance of roasted malt and coffee with sweeter chocolate smells. The smoke is very subtle, I kept waiting for the aroma to increases with warmth but remains subtle through out.

The flavor is very similar to the aroma. Deep roasted malt, java with hints of molasses and licorice roll across the tongue. Semisweet chocolate flavors prevent the roasted malt from becoming overpowering. Once again the smoke is much more subdued than I expected. The smoke is very even and appropriate but I just expected a bit more emphasis from a beer clearly labeled as a Smoked Stout.

Medium-full bodied with adequate carbonation. The texture is light and creamy on the tongue. Dark Horse does a tremendous job at creating body in their lower ABV stouts.

Enjoyable beer, nearly every category was spot on. My biggest gripe was the lack of smoke. I think a slight increase would really enhance this beer. Fore Smoked Stout is easy to drink but not one I am probably grabbing a second.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. Color is near black with a bit of a brownish tint in the light. Not much head or lace. Nose brigs some roasted malt, smoke, coffee, and a bit of dark chocolate. Taste is mostly roast and smoke in pretty decent balance. Feel is nice and dry with a good body. A nice stout, but not my favorite in the numbered line.

Photo of crossovert
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

It pours a dense black with a tan head that is fizzy and quickly dissipates.

The smell is classic stout. It has an abundance of dark scents, mostly chocolate and dark toffee. Over this is a very nice roastiness with some coffee and smoked malt scents. It could smell more intense, but the actual scent is very nice.

The flavor carries a bit more smoked malt than the scent. It is dark and roasty in flavor. It like you melted some 80% cacao chocolate into a cup of coffee. It also has a hint of caramel and sweetness.

The mouthfeel is super thick, but it has a noticeable prickling carbonation.

Dark horse with another great stout.

Photo of Onenote81
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to bjspicer (Brian) for this thoughtful extra in our recent trade! Knocked it off my wants.

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a very thick gluggy black, like used motor oil. A thin mocha head rest atop. Retention was weak; no lace. But this black abyss is haunting. I like it. The nose doesn't yield much smoke. Maybe some hints of charred wood, but it smells of a standard stout. Scents of chocolate, dark malt, faint coffee. A little disappointed there's not more smoke in the nose.

The body is thick and creamy. Perfect for a stout. An easy drinker though. Nothing too filling, but it just coats the palate wonderfully. The flavor doesn't hint that there is much smoke in this either. I guess I was expecting more of a Rauchbier-like smokiness, but this is subtle and definitely in the background. There are hints of the charred wood and burnt toast, but really, the chocolate/coffee combo is the main player. Lots of semi-sweetness, full bready toasted malts, and hints of dark fruits on the finish. As a "smoked" beer, this isn't what I'd be looking for, but as an easily-drinkable tasty stout, this fit the bill perfectly. Loved it.

*Note: This is a winter release, so I'm assuming this is an '09?? Maybe the smoke fades a bit after some time.

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
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
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
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 +6.1%
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%
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
3.57/5  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
4.49/5  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 +0.5%
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 +2.3%
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
3.77/5  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.

Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 980 ratings.