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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

952 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 952
Reviews: 421
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 54
Gots: 91 | 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: 952 | Reviews: 421 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a SA perfect pint glass. Appears black in color with less than a finger of severely dark tanned head that dissolves quite fast. The surface of this beer boils with the brown bubbles of carb that rise from the circular cut at the bottom of the glass which agitates and leaves a ring of brown lace all around the interior perimeter of the glass. Aroma of this beer is dark and roasty with scents of burnt grain akin to chocolate, coffee and a bit of smoke are all included. Taste is darkly roasted grain with flavors of dry bitter chocolates, coffee and smoked malt pulls up the tail end of the flavor that lingers through the semi-dry bitter finish. Medium feel with a modest amount of carbonation. For being the smoked version of their stout, it is equally roasty and smokey as the other offerings ive had from them and just barley enough of the smoked character to accent it and set it off as being different from the rest. There is a slight lingering musty flavor left in the mouth along with the smoke flavor that is a bit offputting. Other than that, overall it was decent.

Photo of MIMicrobrews
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Number 4 appears no different from the previous 3; thick, black, with maybe a tad bit less head in the glass. The aroma was a pleasant roasted maltiness blended with a slight smokiness/earthiness. The first thing that comes to my mind when I describe the taste is 'wow'. It's very smoky. It tasted like I drank liquid smoked spare rib. It had a very nice, smoky front with a more subtle bitter malt back. The smokiness is very prominent and almost takes you by surprise, given how evenly balanced the previous stouts were. The smoke has a nice earthy taste to it, one that would blend sublimely with any sort of smoked or BBQ'd meats. The aftertaste is that of a more dampened smoke with a mixed bitterness that lingers beautifully. If pairing, but not with any sort of BBQ or meat, I could see it altering your palate slightly; smokiness is still pretty prevalent.

Overall, I like this beer simply because I love smoked... anything. We smoke our own meats, so naturally, this brew would be an ideal suitor. That said, it's not for the squeamish - Out of the 4 so far, it's definitely the most in-your-face brew. This one stands out more than the others simply because it was a bit more unbalanced in flavor; whereas the oatmeal, the cream and the blueberry were all more subtly involved. If you like smoke, you'll love this brew.

Photo of mountdew1
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was completely opaque, a very dark dark coffee brown with a thin chocolate brown head that clung a bit. Aroma was slightly smokey, with a undertone of dark chocolate. Taste was smokey, slighty bitter. that shifted to mellowness as it went on. Felt good in the mouth. Coated very well, perhaps a little undercarbonated. Not bad to drink, more of a sipping/lingering beer.

Photo of Patrick999
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Nice mocha foam and very impressive deep dark color.

In the aroma, molasses, cocoa and mesquite coals, though nowhere near the level of smoke you'd smell in a rauchbier.

Quite malt-forward, this opens with a blast of malted milk ball sweetness, quickly dried out by an awesome espresso roast flavor and a little hop. Long, somewhat meaty aftertaste. Again, some campfire-like smokiness is pervasive throughout, but very well integrated - this isn't like chewing half-burnt firewood.

Creamy, savory full-bodied feel - it feels like a much more substantive beer than I suspect it is. I barely feel anything after having finished the glass, so I suspect this is 4-5%, similar to the Tres Blueberry Stout. This one also hits the mark for me - I wish more breweries were making low-ABV beers with this much big-beer flavor. No fluke here....Dark Horse is making some nice beers.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, no abv or freshness date. Pours what seems to be a pitch black color. Huge fizzy mocha head fades to a thin ring after a couple minutes, leaving no lace.

Roasted malt, dark chocolate. A bit of cream and a slightly smoky note. A faint suggestion of dark fruit.

Nice roasted malt base with a fair amount of depth. A small amount of residual sweetness. A hint of milk chocolate with a slightly smoky fade. Finishes with a light bitterness.

Body is a bit lighter, with a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol is hidden pretty well. A nice beer, the smoky component adds a nice twist.

Photo of MrSnrub
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle courtesy of OneDropSoup.

Pours almost jet black, with a modest tan head; very little head retention. Attractive nose of vanilla and toffee. These flavors are present in the taste, along with caramel notes. Very nice malt profile. Smoke flavor is subtle, which is why this is the first smoked beer I've liked. This one went down quickly.

Photo of Rbald42
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Super dark brown/almost black with a dark tan head, very thick and viscous looking

S- Roasted malts, light smoky profile as it warms, hints of red meat and cola.

T- Cola flavor, the smoke is present but mild, some faint berry flavor and hints of alcohol.

M- Nice and creamy, goes down smooth and is one of the best parts of the beer.

D- To me this is a very drinakable smoked stout, I could have a few of these and wish I had access to it.

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

Found notes for this tasting. A smoked stout sounded very good to me.

A- Black with a khaki collar surrounding the edges of the glass.

S- Some what weak. Charred malts and some smoke, peat, and meat tenderizer.

T- A solid stout but nothing crazy. This is a no frills beer for the fans of roasted flavors. The smoke is light but the charred flavors are strong.

M- Not quite what I would call a full body, but close.

D- This is closer to a sessionable stout. Goes down easy (if you like charred, roasted and smokey flavors)

Photo of Kegatron
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours black, with a ½ finger of reddish burnt fizzy head. This peters out pretty quickly, leaving just a light smattering of spotty lacing behind. The aroma has some subtle smoky textures going on with it, but this is mostly all about roasted chocolate malt character, along with some extra notes of caramel and herbal smelling hops thrown in for good measure. Nice.

The taste is chocolate and toffee sweetness with plenty of dark roast and bitter earthy hops mixed in. The smoke mostly takes a back seat to the other flavors, coming out the most in that roasty finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a touch more fullness here, that stays creamy up front of the sip but then gets more sharp and prickly as you swallow. There's a good amount of underlying chewiness to this that makes me think that the ABV on this is more akin to One & Too than it is the Tres Blueberry Stout.

This was good and might have been my overall favorite of the four Stouts. Just enough smoke was present while still letting the rest of the flavors have there time as well. I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Founder's pint glass, well at least i got a glass from a brewery in the same state to match up with the beer. My 4th out of the five in the series.

Black muddy murky black within a sea of black, that's pretty much the norm for Dark Horse beers IMO. A nice thick looking liquid that I would not mind taking a bath in, for real. Some brown on the edges. A steady pour did not bring forth a huge head, just less of an inch of dark brown foam, no lacing.

Im not a fan of Smoked Beers at all, but im starting to come around on em. Fore's smoke does not resemble a California forest fire, more like a BBQ brush fire. It's quite light but noticable. With the smoke comes some char, peat and under that a smelly stout with chocolate, small vanilla and some dark fruit. For some reason I like the nose on this more than plead the 5th.

On first sips, I was like whoa, I don't like this, the peat and smoke just reminded me of past experiences with heavily smoked beers. Fore is not that heavy though. With warming the smoke evened out with the regular stout flavors to make something tasty. A mix of smoke/peat and a creamy vanilla with dark choklat. Roasted malt and a nice hop bite at the end. I did not expect much hops in this, but fore seems to showcase them the best in the series.

The feel is creamy and smooth with a slightly hoppy taste in the end. I would say this is a step above medium with a light but nice touch of carb. The smoke does not burden the tounge and integrates nicely all around. Not overly sweet and smoky, this is well balanced beer here, hell I could of went fore a fore pack, LOL.

Im not sure of the ABV on this but im thinking it's in the 7-8% range. Either way you cant taste it. Out of all the smoked beers i've had this is one that I can have two of in a night. When it was vwery cold I did not enjoy the taste, but with time, this one is a monster. Another winner from Dark Horse, they do good work.

Photo of nickd717
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade thanks to kmurray8621. Good to try another beer from Nickelback's favorite brewery (which these guys must be really, really proud of).

Pours darkest brown with a small tan head.

Aroma is roast and smoke, along with mild a little chocolate. Good but not super-complex.

Flavor has more smoke than the aroma. Some roast and milk chocolate as well. Tasty stuff.

Decent palate, a little thin like the others in the series, but fairly smooth.

This is one of the better beers in this series. It's very drinkable and the smoke is nicely integrated and does not overwhelm.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured black with a small amount of coffee-colourd head and some visible carbonation.

S - The nose is smoke and roasted malts. Has a definite bacon scent which, although I love bacon, the scent is not very appealing to me in beer. Some chocolate in the background too.

T - The is definitely smoke in the palate not as predominantly as in the nose. There is a good roasted malt profile with some chocolate.

M - Light to medium body, a little too light for a stout, with medium carbonation (again, a little too much for a stout).

D - I wasn't sure if I would like this one, especially after the smoked bacon scent on the nose, and it turned out to be a decent beer.

Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 952 ratings.