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Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

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very good

1,000 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,000
Reviews: 426
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 9.72%
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: 1,000 | Reviews: 426
Photo of mmva321
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

Pours a like motor oil: thick and the deepest nut brown you can get to without being black. A small amount of thick, creamy head is at the top for a little bit. The head is a dark milk chocolate color with signs of carbonation under it. What does this all mean? It does what I expect a stout to do, and the deep brown makes it look inviting as opposed to the intimidation of a black monolith looking stout. Nice.

A stout usually tries to find a balance between the sweet (usually chocolate) and bitter (coffee or malts or hops). This one decides to emphasize the bitter. The malts and roasted nuts come out to the forefront leaving the sweeter aspects to play second fiddle. The hops come through as well.

Second time around, I find myself liking this stout much more than many of the style or the brewer. The sweet tastes of chocolate hit the front of the tongue, the roasted malts and nuts hit the roof and sides of my mouth and the bitter hops tend to dominate the back of the mouth and throat. Maybe the hops are a little strong, but I give it a second, and all the flavors blend very well in my mouth, leaving a very good impression as I write this.

A little watery going down, but nothing to really complain about. The fact of that is it makes the beer easier to drink, mix that in with the delicious and complex taste, and you have a spectacular stout that you should try soon.

Photo of swizzlenuts
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice tan head that dissipated quickly (I think this because my glass was slightly dirty). The beer is pitch black and poured like motor oil. The nose on the beer is filled with roasted malts, chocolate with a hint of smoked malt. The flavour is around is flavourful, but the mouthfeel is slightly thin, which hurts this beer a lot. The flavours are smoked notes and a lot of coffee flavours. Some hints of chocolate come through as well. There isn't just enough flavour.

Photo of bushbeer75
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz Brown bottle with Dark Horse's usual "artsy" label

Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout poured coal black and produced [upon the final drop into my glass] a tan milkshake like head that measured about 1-finger. The head had good retention and left a coating as I consumed it.

The aroma was of light smoke, chocolate and light coffee. The flavor is rich and consists of smoky chocolate and roasted coffee malts. For a brew with such a flavor I expected the mouth feel to be thicker and "chewier". ABV must be to the lower side as the alcohol was hidden. For me the drinkability is only limited by the "heavier" flavor - not a bad thing though.

A good American Stout from one of Michigan's better brewers.

Photo of MPLS
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tempting to not drink more than 3 beers tonight. Self-control, are you there? Purchased a few of these late '08.

A: If I could judge this beer on it's label it's a crappy 1, but not it's brilliantly black with a nice frothy belgianesque caramel head to it. Lacking in the lacing department, but the initial pour was good enough to say it's good. Carbonation is not very pronounced in this beer.

S: Who left the bacon grease in the pan atop the stovetop? I get bacon, smoked malts, licorice, and general campfireness.

T: Like drinking benevolent campfire ashes, licorice, roasted malt, a slight citrus sweetness followed by a short-lived woodsy note.

M: This beer should be thicker than it is, still somewhat medium-bodied.

D: I am guessing the ABV at most is 7% so certainly capable of throwing a few of these back and the price point isn't anything to cover the eyes about. A easy drinking smoked beer.

Photo of Durge
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid black brown, thick and ominous looking with a reasonable chocolate brown head and goodly lacing. The aroma is major league dark chocolate with a hint of sizzling bacon. Amazing, sweet but just a slight salty edge. The flavor jumps out with a full chocate malt and a subtle coffee bitterness. There's a hint of sweet smoke but the coffee prevails most in a relatively drinkable mid-plus bodied brew. The carbonation is subtle and smooth. Quite an impressive stout!

Photo of adamette
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken 10 15 09, poured from tap at the brewery.

A Medium to dark brown head over a jet black body. 4.0

S Dark roast, malt, chocolate with some raspberry. 4.0

T Great, some unexpected chocolate/raspberry sweetness along with the dark roast malt. I really enjoyed this! 5.0

M Thick, syrupy, wonderfully smooth. 5.0

D Fair to good. This is a style that is not that drinkable but the greatness of this beer shines through. 4.0

Gina at Dark Horse suggested, after I asked, that they had just changed the tap lines and, even though they were rinsed, cleaned, that some of the previous raspberry ale might still be present on the line. You know what?, this did not hurt the taste of this beer at all!

Photo of BeerNuggets
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz into a pint glass.

the head looks good and held for awhile..

the smell was delicious. it was dark and full looking....

taste was smooth and def. smoked...I really enjoyed the taste

mouthfeel is full and wonderful

I woudl drink plenty of these in the fall!! perfect fall beer

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

I poured what looked like motor oil into my beer tasting wine glass. The little bit of light brown head disappeared quickly. This beer is black as night. The smell is mostly burnt coffee with chocolate and a bit of vanilla. The smoke makes itself evident in the taste. I'm tasting everything in the smell with a bit of smoked sausage and some raisin. Nice silky mouthfeel and quite drinkable. Another solid offering from a brewery that continues to put out a lot of winners. Note to Dark Horse- you keep putting out $7.99 4 packs of great beer, I'll keep buying them.

Photo of natelocc787
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice example of a sweet, dry stout. the smoke flavor wasn't a very big part of the beer but it IS there. Nice black beer with a dark brown head. 1 finger to the head and the appearance of this beer after poured reminded me of a breakfast stout. Nice cascading effect as the snifter is tilted. Roasted malt with burnt brown sugar and semi-sweet chocolate. Slightly smoky as it comes in and slightly sweet as it goes down. Mouthfeel a little on the silky, thin side. Good but not great.

Photo of gmcfarre
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass
Purchased in June '08, so it is probably from the 07/08 winter

A - Pours to reveal a very opaque, dark sludge that only produces a head with an aggressive pour. Head is a nice dark tan color that tops out at 1/2 an inch. Lacing is pretty minimal.

S - Rich dark chocolate with some dry smokiness, although the smoke scent is much milder & more pleasant than I would have expected. Nice use of roasted malts. Fairly sweet with nice fig & raisin flavor. Some alcohol is present the nose, so I'm guessing this beer has a decent ABV in the 7-9% range (its not posted on their website or on BA).

T - Starts with some dark, fruity sweetness (fig, raisin) that is quickly overtaken by a dry, roasted malt flavor with some smoke accents. Finish is slightly smoky with some whiskey-esque alcohol flavor contributing to the dryness.

M - Moderate carbonation lends some levity to an otherwise full bodied & oily mouthfeel. Dry, but well balanced at the finish.

D - I've been holding off on this one because I rarely if ever like "smoked" beers, but Fore was a revelation. Mild, complimentary smoke flavored played nicely with the more traditional stout flavors, resulting in a very nice stout. Well-recommended. Probably my favorite of their seasonal stout series.

Photo of peabody
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out really black with only one finger of offwhite small suds and some lacing on the glass.
Unknown ABV eh? Well this taste like a 8.5%er.
Coffee and semisweet chocolate and bitter hops come in front of the sweet malty sugar. Fruit like grape skin and raspberry mixed with chocolate and coffee.
Mouthfeel is a little sticky but this one doesn't have a clue of alcohol.
Drinkability is good here if you can find this gem.

Photo of taylorhamrick
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The fourth installment pours with the same incredible darkness as the other three, and has about as much of a head as the first - maybe only a bit more, but you wouldn't know the difference after about 10 seconds. The darkness is lovely, but it looks lifeless almost. The smell is good, burnt crusty bread, hardwood ashe, dark astringent coffee, dark, unsweetened chocolate all come to mind - it smells like a stout, cooked over an open wood flame, then allowed to cool down, but not quite as intense on the smoky note as I woul expect based on one, too, and tres in regards to their flavors. I think the smokiness here does a nice job enhancing the dark roastiness in all ways. And the very same goes for the taste. You come up with a heavy roast coffe, with bread dunked into it, and a tiny bit of the darkest, burntest crusty bits of a slab of heavily smoked meat. Then it kind of levels out with a nice chocolatey sweetness, and finishes really quite clean. I expected the undercooked weenie taste that is usual in other smoked beers, but if its here, it's a well overcooked, almost black weenie with some ashe on it. I'm really liking this smoked stout., though it may be hard to tell it apart from some other equally as good unsmoked stouts - I could be wrong though, I do start to get a lingering smoky taste as I continue drinking. The body is kind of medium, not as full as the others, nice though, but the carbonation comes on sharply, stinging a bit as I swallow. Overall, though, this is a great one. I mean, of the four (and for that matter about any american stout) this one has the best everyday drinkability. I could see myself reaching for quite a few of these, until the burnt wood caught up with me. That's thwe only real hindrance, but if you like it, if it brings back memories of making BBQ over a live fire, then you'll love it.

Photo of yourefragile
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

Near black, opaque color with a large, quickly diminishing mocha head that leaves a thin ring with little lacing. Aroma isn't very smokey, more roasted malt, barley, chocolate. Flavor follows the nose and sort of reminds me of a mild cousin to Founders Breakfast. Burnt malt and coffee, milk chocolate, barley and the smokiness lingers in the finish but never really asserts itself in the body. Slightly thinner body than expected for the style, but strong carbonation, burnt flavors and mild hopiness compensate. Would have preferred a little more smoke, but an excellent stout and will seek this out again.

Photo of tatoodkelt
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up last month while in MI for a wedding.

Consumed 8/28/09- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- An inky pitch black topped off with a bubbly one finger mocha head that faded pretty quick leaving a thin ring around the glass. Decent lacing.

S- Roasted malts, hints of dark chocolate and coffee. And that camp fire aroma that I love.

T- Pretty much the same as the nose with the smoke being even more evident. I'm surprised to see others mentioning a lack of smoke. A little alchohol sneaking in there too.

M- Medium bodied, smooth but kinda on the watery side.

D- I love the taste but this ones a sipper for me. No more than one in a sitting but I'll be looking for this one again!

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of stick lace.

S - It smelled smoky with notes of chocolate and roasted malt.

T - Great roasted malt like an American Stout with a great woody/smokey taste.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good smoked brew. Not overpowering but good enough smoked flavor.

Photo of TexIndy
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info on the bottle. I bought this during my trip to Indy last month so wasn't familiar with Dark Horse. Checked the website after I got home and turns out this one is a fall/winter seasonal so it's a bit aged. In the past, I might have drank it and skipped the review since out of season. But my new rule is if a brewer isn't going to put a date on the bottle than it's their fault if they get a bad review that might be due to age. Tired of them lazing out and not putting on dates. Anyway, it opened without any much of a sound so worried about carb issues. It poured a dark black color. It had a very small brown head that barely covered the surface. It dissipated very rapidly and left a barely there collar. No noticeable carb and no lacing.

The aroma mostly prune with some roasted malt but was missing any hint of smoke which is a disappointment for a beer labeled as a smoked stout. The taste was a little bitter but again missing the smoke. Thankfully, the prune was missing from the taste. Had standard AmStout flavor but was dulled and a little watery. Mouthfeel hurt by the lack of carb and watery taste.

Overall, a fair beer that missed the mark for me especially if to be considered a smoked beer. Again, it may be due to the natural aging or how long it sat on the shelf but it's their issue not mine since they don't date their beers. I would like to try again when in season so I'll hold off on final recommendation or rotation till then.


Photo of CrellMoset
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Poured in to a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours - similar to the Too, which I just had - an incredibly dark, opaque, terribly black body, no light gettin' through at all. The half-finger of dark cocoa/tan head fades relatively quickly, bubbly and seething and fading quickly in to nothing - no sheen at all on the surface, and nothing but a thin ring of lace, barely clinging on. Faint eruptions of lace also attempt to cling, but don't do so nearly as impressively as the Too.

Aroma: Dissimilar to the Too - much sweeter, but truly, only slightly smokier. There's lots of heavily roasted malts, caramel, dark toffee, powdery cocoa, and a few other stray, earthy toasty notes. And it's all wrapped up in a light, pleasant air of smoke - not the "bacon-y" or meaty smoke that often permeates smoke beers that I find so unsettling.

Taste: Smoke is a little stronger here, but still not too unpleasant. It's well-integrated, not settling "over" the base beer but instead weaving in and out - not bad. Speaking of, the base beer is similar to what you'd expect from the nose, perhaps a tad dryer. You have your standard caramel and dark toffee notes, faint coffee in the close, but also a few more earthy, dirty, toasty notes, rendering this one a little dryer than you'd expect from the nose. Still not as flavorful as I'd like perhaps - maybe my palette is ruined.

Mouthfeel: Bubbly, a little too bubby in fact, with large, eruptive carbonation, prickly, in a relatively moderate body.

Drinkability: Another interesting Dark Horse brew, and a worthy addition to the ... what the heck's the name of this series anyway? The One Through Five series. Whatever. Similarly low in alcohol, enhancing the drinkability somewhat, but also a little less flavorful, a little too carbonated, and a little duller looking than I'd like, decreasing it somewhat. All in all, though, it's a good beer, one I'm glad to have tried, though not one I could really see myself enjoying on a regular basis.

Photo of naproxen
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ha, I love this fizzy root beer head that appears and extinguishes just as quickly. I am reminded oh so slightly of smokey campfires and spicy roasty chocolates. I have had this one time prior on draft at the Bavarian Lodge in IL, and I can't say that bottling has reduced the draw of this stout. It is dark, real dark, yet one can still recognize the chocolate aspects of the hue. This will definitely be a stout I shall keep an eye peeled for when on more midwest soils.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours black with hardly any head. Aroma of sweet, rich, roasted malt, booze, and a touch of smoke. Flavor is sweet initially with some light smoky flavors (but not smoked meats). Weak-ish palate. Ok, but I like the other Dark Horse stouts better.

Photo of Tone
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color. 1/3 inch head of a dark tan color. Decent retention and poor lacing. Smells of roasted malt, slight alcohol, slight sweet malt, some breadiness, and hints of hops. Fits the style of an American Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Bitterness of the malt is quite noticeable. Tastes of roasted malt up front and throughout, some sweet malt, slight alcohol, not so much smokey as strongly roasted, and hop is present in the background. It takes a while for the slight smoke flavor to come through - needed to warm up a bit. Very rich in flavor and roasted bitterness is strong in the finish. Everything is pretty good about this beer except the appearance (very little retention and lacing).

Photo of coldmeat23
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Pours up black. Surprise! One-finger head of dark brown foam. Retention and lacing are both minimal.

Sweet malts with a touch of roastiness. Hints of chocolates and coffee. Very light touch of smoke.

Dark roasted sweet malts. Milk chocolate. Coffee with cream. Light sweetness of dark fruits. Decent presence of smoke, mostly in the finish, but not nearly as much as anticipated.

Solid medium body. Nice and smooth, but seriously lacking creaminess. This one could be better.

Sure it's drinkable. Sure I'd take it over a waterey Guinness. I'd also reach for something else before this one, though. Like the Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout.

Photo of blakesell
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Beer pours an absolute charcoal obsidian. No seeing through this baby. The beer is solid black with a slight thin espresso colored head with lacing that clings and sticks to the sides of the glass for the duration.

Smell- Smells like a RIS. Burnt roasted malts, American hops, vienna roasted coffee, no smoke, perhaps the hops cover the other aromas present here. I'm catching very little else unfortunately... Black patent malts.

Taste- American hops coming to the forefront again. Smooth malted goodness and a creamy spicy character.. Still no smoke. Why call this a smoked stout when there is no smoke character present? burnt 120+ Lovibond once again, but no smoke. Drinkable, but disappointing for the description.

Mouthfeel- Sticky, gluey, a bit warming, prickling, light in carbonation, and medium full bodied.

Drinkability- Pretty smooth drinkability, but nothing I would go crazy over right now. Good, but not great.

Photo of AVDeuph
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First time having this beer, served in a small goblet.

A: A sharp black with brown highlights. Head was a glorious cappuccino that unfortunately did not stick around very long.

S: Creamy and chocolaty. Not too much of the "smoked" characteristic yet.

T: Milk chocolate flavors with little bitterness. A nice balance in flavors here. Still, not as smokey as I was expecting from the title, thought burnt malt flavors are certainly evident.

M: Possibly slightly over-carbonated, at least in my opinion. Medium body, not oily, a little dry.

D: Very drinkable. Flavors are amiable to the palate and alcoholic taste is not present. Not too heavy and easy to finish too quickly.

Photo of cvfish
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a black color that produced a tan head that had great retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The smell of this beer had aromas of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee

T - The taste of this beer was along the nose, roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, and coffee

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - I really like what Dark Horse is doing, the Stouts I have had from them were amazing, the only one I have left to hunt down is the Blueberry, otherwise, great beer

Photo of brow1901
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I highly recommend that this beer be drank warm, its night and day difference.

A- Pitch black in color with a small coffee coloer head that disapears quick. Leaves no lacing on the way down.

S- Once it warms to the proper temp the smells come alive. Amazing smoked scent. Roasted dark malts, chocolate, tobacco. Some of the malt smells are bordering on burnt. No hops.

T- Again the roasted malt with lots of smoke. It kinda bites the toungue. Chocolate stands out as the sweet factor. Some bitterness on the back of the mouth, cant really distinguish the hop flavor though. And a mild alcohol warming as it goes down.

M- I initially didn't like the mouthfeel much, it seemed overly light but it got better as the brew warmed even more.

D- Pretty drinkable for a stout. Worth a try but I probably won't seek it out again. I'd rather have a RIS or a cream stout, but the smoke is a nice change from the oatmeal stout.

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Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,000 ratings.