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Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

897 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 897
Reviews: 413
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 52
Gots: 78 | FT: 3
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: 897 | Reviews: 413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBungyo
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%

This one looked even darker than normal, how that is possible is a mystery to me. The head is a very dark brown ... a shame that there is barely any head to speak of. Even without the head, this still look pretty damn nice. Smell is mostly sweet molasses. As far as taste, I'll get this out of the way first:
I cannot taste any of the smoke. To be honest though, that's a small complaint when a stout tastes as good as this one, even sans the smoke that the bottle proclaims. Rich deep molasses is the star with chocolate chips and coffee getting supporting roles. The very back of the taste is somewhat reminiscent of smoke, but not strong enough to convince me that its really there. Very very tasty. Mouth is nice and smooth, with light carbonation. Any time I was craving a stout, this would do nicely I'm sure. A stout to revisit again and again ...if unlike me you can get it in your area. Thanks to Northertimber for this one!

TheBungyo, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of warriorsoul
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%

Thanks again to Eyedrinkale for this one...
Pours a deep, rich, thick black color with just a dusting of cocoa-colored head that sits finely on top of the brew.
A robust character...dark italian chocolate with espresso beans. Splendid vanilla bean aroma with a gentle sweetness in the lingering nose.
The taste is very rich, but in a good way...you get the feeling these guys really put their heart and soul into every brew they bottle. It is very balanced and has just enough hops to keep the malt from making this one sweet.
Huge coffee and chocolate flavors and while the smoked flavor is there, it is not up front...could be this one has sat a bit too long...not sure if the smoked flavor fades over time. I don't know what the abv is, but it is nowhere to be found. I'd gladly have this one again if given the opportunity.
Another one from DH that has really impressed.

warriorsoul, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of walleye
3.88/5  rDev -1%

from he bottle. poured balck wit a brown head that left no lacing. aroma dark fruits malts, chocolate, molasses, cherries, had to wait until it warmed up for the smoke to come out. flavor the smoke came out 1st than a sweet chocolate, malt, dark sweet berries as it warmed the flavors got a little more robust. not too bad of a beer.

walleye, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of nortmand
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%

Pours dark black with a tan head.
Smoky, roast smell. Also some chocolate and a bit acidic.
Subtle smokiness supports the sweet chocolate caramel of this beer. Leaves a slightly acidic, smoky chocolate flavor.
Rounded and rich, this is a nice, solid stout perfect for winter drinking.

nortmand, Oct 22, 2005
Photo of OldSock
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

Appearance and Presentation – Picked up this 12 oz bottle from Cloverleaf. Pitch black with a thin mocha head that disappears instantly. No lacing, pretty standard stout appearance.

Smell – Slightly smoky with solid roasted malts. Smells of sweetened French roast coffee. No hops or alcohol aroma whatsoever.

Taste – Similar to Black Bier Ale, but slightly lighter flavor and with a smoky overlay. The smoke flavor blends surprisingly well, assertive, but not overpowering. A well balanced beer, good sweetness from the malt, balanced by the bitter hops and grains. Again not much hop or alcohol flavor. Its actually less charcoal/burnt tasting than many stouts than I have had, pleasant.

Mouthfeel – It has a medium slightly slick mouthfeel, with medium carbonation.

Drinkability and Notes – Good drinkability for a stout, the smoke really mellows as I near the bottom of my glass. A well done beer that I like quite a bit and would recommend to anyone who likes the idea for a slightly smoky stout.

OldSock, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%

This is a unique beer. Not like a Rauchbier, but along the same lines. Poured out to a black (and I do mean BLACK, as light did NOT pass through the glass whatsoever) appearance with minimal carbonation, this brew was near being flat. Not much of a head, but a thin layer of medium brown foam covered the top of the beer. No lace. Odors of salted olives were present, as was some generic smoke notes. Flavor was spicey with notes of black pepper, overcooked malts, and raw coffee. Some smoke toward the finish. Very heavy and filling mouthfeel. This is my first smoked beer, and look forward to seeing some others in the style. This beer is a good place to start. Worthy of a try.

Frozensoul327, Sep 03, 2005
Photo of beergeek279
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a dimple pint. The color is a VERY dark brown with a quickly dissipating dark brown head. The smell is very strong with the peat-ish smoked malt. The taste is a nice mix of the smokiness from peat malt and the chocolate of the base stout, with just a bit of coffee/hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, this would be a nice one to have a few of, but not overly sessionable.

Thanks to for the bottle as part of the NCAA tourney pool. I've always thought that Dark Horse lived up to its name; a fantastic brewery from Michigan that just doesn't get mentioned in the same breath as Bell's, Founders, Jolly Pumpkin, etc, which is unfair because the beers that come out of Marshall stand up to the best beers out of the state. Fore is no exception; a very nice smoky stout that mixes the smoke well with a chocolate maltiness. This is a damn good one, as are the rest of the 3, and I'd be glad to get this one again.

beergeek279, May 30, 2005
Photo of Gaisgeil
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%

I'm having great luck with smoked beers lately, sheesh! This one from a local brewer to boot!

Pours an ebony black in color with literally no head whatsoever. Nose is a little weak, a little bit of smoke but that's about it. Taste is gorgeous though a good bit malty but large and in charge in the smoke department. Lots of char and roast going on as well. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but all in all everything works well in this, quite balanced and well crafted.


Gaisgeil, Apr 26, 2005
Photo of aaronh
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%

Almost black body looks nearly blood red as it pours. Toffee colored head slowly builds to a quarterinch then fades to a ring at the edge of the glass. Slightly sweet aroma is topped by a respectable amount of smoked malt aroma that has a slightly sharp note, like the fire is still buring beneath the malt. This sharpness continues to the flavor, but then a very dry puckering sensation soon follows. Seems to be a great deal of bitternessbehind this beer. Grassy notes are intermingeld with the smoke, which nearly hides the malt sweetness at first. After a few sips, a bit more of the caramel and raosted malt notes come through. Strong notes of dark chocolate and espresso come through once the taste buds adjust to the smokiness. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I was hoping, but not bad in any way. Drinkablity is pretty good as well. Another nice offering from Dark Horse.

aaronh, Apr 22, 2005
Photo of BeerFink
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%

Pours a pretty opaque black color with roughly a finger of brown head. Aroma is smokey, a little meaty, lots of roasted barley, and come coffee. Charcoal and woody smoke are first to my palate. Lots of roasted barley, and a little bit of a charred taste. Some coffee, and a little bit of very bitter chocolate. Good mouthfeel for this style, not too thick and not too thin. As far as smoked beers go, this is pretty damn good.

BeerFink, Apr 09, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.35/5  rDev +11%

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no dates. Blacker than black with a light brown head that had to be forced on the pour. This stuff doesn't so much flow out of the bottle as it seems slide out. Decent retention with lacing that slides down the glass under its own mass. This looks like an Imperial.

Roasted notes dominate the smell. Chocolate, malt, and some woodiness...all charred. I don't detect much hop, maybe it caught on fire.lol

My nose told my taste buds to brace for impact, but this one is a lot smoother than expected. Its almost like an Imperial that has been mixed with a little milk. Its like drinking velvet flavored with chocolate, caramel and malt. The smoke is there too, but not as much as expected. Its like someone put half a drop of natural liquid smoke in the bottle. Not alot of carbonation, but this drink does not suffer from it at all.

This is certainly a BIG beer. Very balanced, but also very filling. A few of these would fill me up. Not so much a session beer, but this would be a great after dinner drink if the main entree is smoked fish or meats.

ypsifly, Feb 17, 2005
Photo of putnam
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%

Possibly the blackest, charcoal brown-colored foam of any Dark Horse beer -- and so of any beer. It must be conjured by a high pour and sits quickly into a greasy slick of not-as-dark on top of a jet-black liquid.
Conforming to the pattern set by Dark Horse Tres -- which is not assertively flavored of blueberries -- this is not assertively smoky. It features aromas of burning oil, cocoa and coffee that has been reduced to a paste. In the mouth it is broad, creased with roasty bitterness, but ultimately creamy-textured and dry.
Very easy to drink.

This should be classified as a Stout, not a Rauchbier or Smoked Beer.

putnam, Jan 29, 2005
Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +2%

Pours thick and foamy with deep darkness and a relatively deep tan head.
Aroma of burnt coffee, some chocolate and burnt brown sugar and just a residual note of smoke.
Flavors and sweet and bitter chocolate with some residual coffee notes, very faint and subtle roasted smokiness. Not full on burnt charcoal kind of notes but definitive hint of smoked malts.
Mouthfeel was smooth, creamy and rich. Medium to full bodied. Starts somewhat sweet and finishes with a relatively mild bittering hit.
Drinkability is good. Malt dominates any smoked hits so its very palatable. Relatively high ABV is just slightly present to let you know you are drinking a "big" beer.

CRJMellor, Jan 17, 2005
Photo of winomark
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%

Pours an absolute pitch black with a medium brown head. Looks like a true, great stout. Looks quite viscous and thick. Mild smoky tones noticable. Rich, deep dark roasted malts are quite strong. Lots of caramel, coffee, and vanilla control the palate. A slight smokiness is noticable, but not too powerful. Very flavorful. Thick, coating mouthfeel, yet a subtle and dry finish. Quite tasty. Overall, a very well done stout. The mild smoke component adds to the complexity. I really enjoyed this beer. Definately worth a try. Thanks to Realale for this one.

winomark, Dec 09, 2004
Photo of Mitchster
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Black as all get out, this is hella-black, darker than 95% of most stouts...takes quite a bit of effort to coax a modest very dark, cinnamon and purple colored crema head with very good retention and mild lacing. Carbonation is mild. Aroma is wonderful...rich, black French Roast coffee, gobs of black patent and chocolate malt, tons of bitter chocolate, a nice touch of distant smoke, cocoa, charcoal, black walnut and vanilla. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, like melted chocolate...rich dense body. Taste is outta sight...an exact recapitulation of the aroma...all those tastes are in here. Mild herbal bitterness, intense roastiness, rich body smothers the tongue. Pleasant sweetness from the dense malt body balances the extreme roastiness. Faint suggestion of alcohol towards the middle is pummeled by the intense finish. Everlasting finish....ooof. The smokiness is just there, lingering in the aftertaste, not overpowering and somewhat subtle. Chalkiness is pervasive and sometimes distracting, which is it's only fault.

This is a bad-ass stout. These guys at Dark Horse haven't disappointed me yet. Wonderful. Highly recommended. This one will put hair on your chest.

Mitchster, Jul 27, 2004
Photo of cokes
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

Black with brown on top. Pours deep and thick from the bottle like liquidized sins.
The nose is all burnt chocolate, cigar ash, and ferns.
Espresso! Like having a smoke at the coffee shop, only this is all-inclusive. Ashy, charcoal- blackened everything. Char, and more char, and scorched tar. Cinders, and embers, and diminished glow. Rauchbier this ain't. This is like a mouthful of forest fire and dirt, washed down with gelatinous coffee napalm. Sprucy, evergreen hops at the close, but those, again, are burnt black.
But wait! There is a sweetness that creeps underneath the inferno. Like whipped vanilla cream and toffee and dark, dark chocolate. It's soon enveloped by burn, but it's there. And that's saying something.

Blanketing and full bodied. This is raw and intense, yet it remains drinkable somehow. And that too, is saying something.

This makes a mockery of most brews that label themselves "Stout". This is definitive.

Cheers, inebrius!

cokes, May 26, 2004
Photo of inebrius
4.47/5  rDev +14%

Don't expect the perfumey, campfire smoke you get from those true to Bamberg style brews. Fore is all charcoal and burnt marshmallows and almonds browned through. Color is the signature Dark Horse non-color. Like chewing on a trail mix of peat ash and dried currants between draughts of tonic water. A toothsome beer for men of character.

inebrius, May 08, 2004
Photo of proc
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%

Yet another excellent beer from this underrated Michigan brewery. This one pours out to a dark as night black in the glass with a small head. The aroma is that of roasted malt and is similiar to other stouts, with Bell's Kalamazooo Stout's aroma coming to mind. I really liked the taste of this one. The smoked flavoring, while being over the top at first sip, mellowed into a wonderful finish that beckons for another drink. Again, a well brewed beer by this Marshall, Michigan brewer. Now if they would only get someone with some art skills to design their labels...

proc, Apr 26, 2004
Photo of granger10
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

This one poured a vicious opaque black, i mean dark as a black hole. No head, barely a thin layer of foam extracted upon a vigorous pour. Exactly like 2002 Expedition. This is a smoked stout but the smoked part is not really that upfront with my taste buds. Slight tangy flavor that reminds me of barbeque sauce but not smoked like other smoked beers. But maybe that's a good thing. Quite thick but with low carbonation. The other flavors are pretty straight forward. Coffee is main with a bittersweet chocolate flavor. The smoked flavor comes in the aftertaste and picks up intensity the longer I sit between sips (which seems weird, but good). This was a quality brew which I must give dark horse some credit for their creativeness.

granger10, Jan 23, 2004
Photo of marburg
4/5  rDev +2%

I wouldn't describe this as smoked so much as I would "BBQ-in-a-bottle." Pours like Expedition or something similarly viscous. Looks to have low carbonation, and perhaps it does, but it forms a nice little tan head nonetheless.

Aromas and flavors raise memories of family cookouts. "Aw crap, Auntie Jayne just charred the hell out of the ribs." And that's about what the beer is like. It has a definite grilled flavor to it with a roasted chocolate finish. So really, it's like dinner AND dessert in a bottle. There's your spare ribs, and there's your chocolate -- all in one spot. How nice.

marburg, Apr 06, 2003
Photo of maxpower
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours a thick jet black color, small bubbly brown head, smokey roasty malt aroma. Sweet burnt flavors, slight smoke flavor in the mix, full creamy mouthfeel that explodes with roasted goodness, I love it, another great one from this brewery.

maxpower, Dec 27, 2002
Photo of mjohn27603
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

Smoked stout. Pours like you pulled the drain plug on an oil pan - black and thick. Brown head is a brief event dissapating into nothing within seconds. Aroma of coffee and slight smoke. Tastes like a bitter hickory stick. On the bitter side. A slight tangy aftertaste. Let it sit on your tongue for a while between sips to taste it all. Not tremendously complex to my tastebuds. My vote for best Michigan smoked beer is still Bell's Batch 5000. Still have to love the Fore label which looks homemade with a black and white charcoal like drawing. It looks like a homebrew label. We need all the local brewers we can get. Give it a try.

mjohn27603, Dec 13, 2002
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Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 897 ratings.