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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

999 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 999
Reviews: 426
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 60
Gots: 108 | 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: 999 | Reviews: 426
Photo of Phelps
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle sent by badnewsbeers into a tulip. Thanks to a bit of foresight, I checked the brewery website to find out that Fore’s the fourth in a series of five stouts “produced to help ease you through the cold and grey midwestern winters” and is made with peated malt. There’s smoke in the forecast.

It looks very similar to the other stouts in the series: thick, oil black from bottle to glass and topped with a short-lived head of cinnamon bubbles. Its darkness fills me with a sense of foreboding. A thick, creamy ring remains after the head subsides.

Fantastic smoky nose. Hints of tobacco emerge amidst heavier aromas of caramelized pork and campfire smoke. Sweet cocoa keeps things from getting too sooty. A foreshadowing of things to come?

The malts in the flavor seem more burnt than smoked, exhibiting a charcoal blackness. Hints of dark chocolate pop up, as does a noticeable earthy hoppiness.

The body’s a soft, creamy medium with the lightest hush of carbonation. The bitterness of the roasted malts is nice, and the alcohol (which Dark Horse neglected to put on the label) is hidden rather well.

Overall, Fore’s not a bad smoked stout — but it’s also not something I’d go out of my way again to procure. I’ll forego the effort for something better and closer to home.


Photo of Gtreid
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pitch black, just like the others in the seires. The pour dropped a thick finger and a half of mocha head that faded and left some spotty lace.

A: At first I get the roasted malts, followed by the smoke, and then the bittersweet ending. From the name, I thought the smoke would be in the forefront, but it wasn't. It was just a nice added addition to the already roasted malts.

T: The sweet and roasted malts dominate, but the smoke flavor is a nice departure. It is not a smoke bomb, just a nice subtle touch that lets you know it's there. Some chocolate, vanilla, woody notes are also present. It finishes slightly sweet and dry.

M: I don't think this is too high in the ABV department, which makes the mouthfeel even more impressive. Creamy and thick, full body.

O: I was pretty impressed with this. I usually don't go for the smoke brews, but I might have to reconsider after this. Dark Horse is doing some really good things with their stouts. Skal.

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

A: The pour is almost black in color with a couple of fingers of tan/brown head.

S: The smoke aroma is somewhat minimal here, which is a good thing in my eyes. Nice and roasty with some good dark chocolate aromas as well. Not a very strong nose overall, but what's there is good.

T: A nice hint of smoke throughout, but not overpowering in any way. Plenty of roasted malts with a hint of coffee and plenty of bitter dark chocolate flavor. A little bit of sweetness in the form of milk chocolate.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: I appreciated the balanced level of smokiness present here. Pretty easy to drink as well.

Photo of jefferz5000
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a past trade. Thanks somebody!

Pours a rich black with a small deep tan head that hangs out for a bit and then fizzles to a ring. Starting off well.

Smell is pretty nice. Getting smoke, cocoa and coffee.

On to the taste. Things had started off well so my expectations were building. Unfortunately, the taste is a let down. Not getting much smoke, especially for a beer clearly labeled "smoked." I'm pretty disappointed with this. Chocolate and coffee, like the nose, are the other flavors I'm getting, but there's just an overall hollowness here. All the flavors seem dulled down or muted. I'm drinking this slightly below room temp and this just isn't delivering, and I'm not a big fan of the aftertaste either. I'm not even in a grumpy mood right now!

Mouthfeel is alright, I'd say moderate with decent carbonation.

Overall, this is just slightly better than average and I have to say I'm disappointed. The Too Cream was better and I actually expected to like the Fore more. Owell!

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

I have generally enjoyed this series thus far and was excited to see a smoked version on the shelf, excited.

A- Pours out pitch black with a creamy, extremely dark mocha colored head. Retention is pretty nice. A solid coat of lace.

S- A blast of rich chocolate comes off this nicely with a good roast malt profile and hints of coffee and raisins. A bit smokey here but not a main component of the aroma.

T- As with the others of this series, the dark roast malt and rich chocolate flavors present are some of the best in any stouts. The smoked character works its way into the flavor pretty nicely. Slight dark fruit.

MF- Almost has a foamy moderately thick feel to it. Carbonation is pretty high. A bit of cocoa/hop bitter feel.

Another great stout, the foreth one in a row, heh. I personally would have preferred it a bit smokier but it sort of worked its way in nicely with some warmth. Keep it up on this series!

Photo of EricCioe
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours impenetrable black with a one finger, tight mocha head that leaves no lace. It almost looks like it's on nitro. On the nose there is a great combination of deeply bitter chocolate with some clean smoke. This isn't like the peat smoke I'm used to in scotch whisky, but more like a clean oak smoke or something else a bit less intense than decaying biomass. It's a really well-balanced nose. In the mouth there is bitter chocolate, full city roasted coffee, a little bit of anise, and all of that riding on a clean cloud of smoke. Again, the smoke isn't overbearing or especially pungent, just present and very pleasant. The body is medium but the finish is nice and long with the bitter chocolate lingering with the smoke. The only downside of this beer is that it's probably a little too distinctive to drink back to back to back, but that's hardly a knock. I like this beer a good deal, quite a bit more than I thought I would. The smoke is just another flavor in a well-constructed stout, rather than a bolted-on gimmicky flavor. After a few misses with me, Dark Horse has really come through with Fore and Plead the 5th.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Way more balanced in bottle than on the draft version I had last week, this dark pitch black Michigan stout forms with a 3 finger thicket of dark khaki tan head leaves thick chunky sporadic lacing. Aroma has dark chocolate, hints of fruity coffee, and underlying layers of smoked malts. Really not bad, one of the better of the four stouts, creamy dark chocolate flavor with hints of coffee and smoked stouts. Flavors in clude dark dry bitter chocolate with hints of roasted barley and smoked underlying malts not in your face but really cohesive and complimentary toward one another. Mouthfeel is big bodied stout with a creamy bodied and lingering smokey bitterness from the dark malts and smoked malt additions. Overall impression is that things just keep getting better when I try a new beer from Dark Horse I want to see more in Ohio and Pittsburgh. Great not too late to get adventurous greab some of the 5 stouts this year before they all disappear.

Photo of silentjay
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As with all Dark Horse stouts, this is black and thick, but it has an unimpressive head that disappears quickly, though lacing is left as I make my way through the glass.

admittedly, I'm not a fan of smoked beers, but the aroma mixes in plenty of sweetness and dark roasted malts to make a very aromatic brew that doesn't smell just of overdone bacon.

the taste starts out smoky and meaty, but quickly shifts to a very dry cacao powder and bitter, burnt coffee flavor with some slight woody and fruity hops that are again, overtaken by charred malts and a significant smoke.

a touch light bodied for the style and flavor profile, with a slight carbonation.

not my favorite of the series or style, but very good. smoke is dominant, but not overpowering, which is good. I would not drink this often, but I would drink it again. Dark Horse makes two of my favorite "smoky" beers by not letting the smoke overpower, but adding complexity.

Photo of Snow81
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black as night with no light penetrates this beer

Head: Dark rich brown head that dissipates quite quickly

Smell: Burnt roosted malts with hints of coffee light coco and a small bitter hop note

Taste: Coffee, caramel, toffee, chocolate, subtle hops with brunt roosted malts

Weight: Medium body with a low carbonation

Finish: Burnt malts with a subtle bitter hop

Photo of hosehead83
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouredf from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Deep black like crankcase oil in color, with a thick head of chocolate milkshake foam.
Aroma-Dark roasted malt and coffee, dark chocolate.
Taste-Strong, dark roasted black coffee, charred malt and burnt oak. Very dry, smoky, black coffee ground finish.
Overall, big character and strong flavor throughout. A little aging would help mellow out this strong stout.

Photo of jera1350
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark and viscous pure motor oil black. The head is thick and rich and dark brown in color. The head shrinks down a bit and leaves some nice lacing.

Very roasty with the smoke a player in the background. Smells lightly sweet as well.

Huge roasted and toasty malt flavor that actually drowns out most of the smoke. Notes of charred wood, coffee bean, dark chocolate and some hops on the back end. Again, tough to pick up the smoke with all of the toasty malt. Still tasty, but I want my smoke!

The mouthfeel is medium-full and extremely smooth and rich. Carbonation is creamy. Really nice feel.

I really like this beer, but the smoke is nearly non-existent. The problem seems to be the same for all of the first four beers in the stout series- they are overly toasty. Still a good overall beer, just doesn't live up to the smoked name.

Photo of gfreed
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Here's a fine example of a solid, average stout. There isn't much smoke in either the aroma or the taste, though. What is there is akin to the smell of a match that someone lit 10 minutes ago: a bit woody; a tad sweet; kind of old. Too bad. Still, this isn't such a bad beer: roast, coffee, molasses, vanilla, etc., and a nice dry finish. Low ABV and a nice creamy head. Decent but not a standout; it's worth a four-pack (the new six pack).

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

12oz poured into Bruges tulip.
A: Dense two finger head that is a rich tan hue. The body is pitch black, no light makes its way through. Head retention lasts a good while, then sinks to a thin layer and leaves an island of froth. Lacing is standard for a stout.

S: Very smokey malt presence. A RIS sweetness projects its self over the smoke, but still warm and smokey. No hop profiles found and a layered aroma that has a nice balance. Medium to high intensity on the aroma.

T/M: The sweetness on the front is warm and pleasant. The smoke character is more profound in the aroma, but finds its way in more on the lingering taste. A nice complexity of flavors, from a classic roasted note of Russian Imperial to a German Rauchbier. Very well done. Fore a full flavored stout this is very drinkable, smooth on the palate and the mouthfeel projects a silky element.

O: Multi-dimensional beer, I feel the strongest of the series so far.. Great beer and overly drinkable for a stout of its kind.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: dark black body, oatmeal up + down head, no lacing

S: licorice, mild cocoa, mild boozy scent, whiff of BBQ/smoke

T: hint of sweet licorice and mild chocolate, slight roasted malt in middle, mild smoke finish with hint of bitter spice. boozy flavor burn in the throat.

M: medium, slight chewy, could use a little more body.

O: This is only my 2nd time trying Dark Horse. Just an ok American Stout, don't go out of your way for this. It is solid, could use a little more body.

Photo of SupaCelt
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pour drops the darkness. Fairly forceful dump produces minimal head. A few jutting lace fingers.

The nose is of course smoke laden with some nice toasty choco and some milky presence.

The taste is pleasingly smokey as well with some very palatable roasty chocolate richness. The smoke is just thick enough without being rambunctious and allows the more traditional stout characteristics to play at an appropriate volume. Succulent. A bit creamy. Bam.

The mouthfeel is at the thick end of the non royal spectrum. Substantial. It floats these profiles with utmost ease.

Overall, this is a really nice ride. Another bangin Dark Horse stout. Not surprising. Keeping the Dark Horse line of stouts on hand in your beer fridge is always a good idea. Withdrawing this bottle and pouring it into an opening in your face will not leave you feeling deprived. The reviewer was shocked that this beer was not previously recorded by him for sake of posterity.

The exploration shuffle:
So There I Was - Deadmau5
Walkin Bass - Benga & Skream
O Maria - Beck
Dyslexia (Aesop Rock remix) - Rob Sonic
Blind Man in the Dark - Gov't Mule

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (4 pack) into a pint glass.

A: Pours an opaque brown/black with a tan colored one finger head.
S: As billed, smells quite smoky and roasty.
T: Hits you in the face with a ton of smoke, but the after taste begins with roasted notes and finishes quite bitter (like strong coffee) and meaty (but not smoky).
M: This is a well carbonated, medium bodied stout.
D: It is pretty good, except for the strange but not unusual aftertaste, the meat flavor sounds good but doesnt actually taste like jerky or any other smoked meat. There is (probably) a low ABV, I'd assume somewhere around 5-6%, so this isn't in the imperial range.

Photo of codsmith
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium snifter

Appearance - Jet black with a very thin caramel head that dissipates very quickly but retains a ring around the outside edge.

Smell - Chocolate and coffee nose with a thin smoked flavor right behind it.

Taste - Starts off with a thin smokey taste, but quickly switches over to a slightly bitter chocolate and burnt/roasted coffee flavor to finish it off

Mouthfeel - overall its a medium bodied mouthfeel, but tastes a little undercarbonated

Overall - Its a good beer, but I was hoping for a little more smoke characteristic coming through

Photo of sulldaddy
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours deep cola brown to almost black, no light passes through in the glass but some mahogany shined through on the pour.
A creamy dense tan head of 1 cm foams up and fades to a clingy edge layer.
Aroma is some roast malt, but definitely also smoke like a firepit. Kinda of mild not a smack you in the face nose. First sip reveals an average to light body, fine yet tingly carbonation and a silky texture.
Flavor is roasted malt and a bit of dark chocolate with some smokey firepit lingering after each swallow. A little molasses mixed in with the roasted notes. Pretty nice and easy drinking beer, no hops or ABV show up anywhere that I can detect. A nice smokey stout, that doest taste like eating burnt matches.

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

This beer pours opaque and colorless. Two fingers of dense, cafe latte colored head rises up, and falls to a top coating that leaves a wall of lacing.

I smell raw bacon, cottage ham, dark coco, and not much else! Not very complex, but lovely.

I taste ham, bacon, chicory blended coffee, with faint hints of coco.

Creamy with a medium body. It is slightly bitter.

Not something that Id want to drink a lot of, but wow what a beer. Would go well with bacon and eggs, or BBQ.

Photo of DannyDan
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
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 -3.1%
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 +7.1%
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 -1%
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 -10.7%
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 -10.7%
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.

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Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 999 ratings.