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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

930 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 930
Reviews: 418
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 51
Gots: 85 | 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: 930 | Reviews: 418 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of david131
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Very very dark black with a very modest brown head that settles to a covering over the entire surface. When held to a light, the beer absorbs almost all of it. The head retention is astounding.

S- I was expecting this to smell like a bonfire or bacon, but oh man... this is a winner. Chocolate, coffee, and a hint of smoke. A great balance of sweet and roasty. This smells great, but not extreme by any means... almost a little subdued.

T- Lots of chocolate and a sweet roastiness. Coffee and smoke are there as well. This is pretty complex and damn tasty.

M- Very creamy with a dry finish. Not the best I have had, but I am having trouble finding anything wrong with it.

D- Yet again Dark Horse blows me away with another stout. I just wish I knew the ABV so I could better gauge how do drink this because I sure as hell can't detect any alcohol. A delicious surprise in a very plain bottle.

david131, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to lightindarkness for this brew.

Pours a black color, nice carbonation, little fizzy dark tan head, no sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, slight smokiness, slight vanilla, some toffee/caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, good tones of toffee/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty stout. Recommended.

Wasatch, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of bashiba
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark black with the darkest brown head I think I have ever seen. nice lacing and retention as well.

Smell had a light bit of chocolate espresso with a touch of burnt malts.

The flavor is nice and bold with a great toasted and smokey bitter dark malt flavor, nice hints of chocolate and coffee with a touch of fennel.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy with a touch of dry lingering finish.

Easy to drink stout, its on the bitter side for a stout in a good way.

bashiba, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from Merchant Fine Wine in Dearborn Heights, MI. in March, 2008 for $1.99. Label contains minimal information (and can't be soaked off the bottle for my collection! How rude!).

Pours a deep rich dark brown/black with a chocolate espresso-crema colored brown head. A steady stream of tiny bubbles comes up the side of the glass.

Aroma is bitter chocolate and a faint espresso-like bitterness.

Flavor is smoky, almost a burnt toast taste with noticeable hops bitterness on top. Very dry, with a bit of an alcoholic burn at the back of the throat.

Honestly, during the first half of this bottle, I wasn't sure if I liked it. It must be an acquired taste, because by the end of the bottle, I was a believer!

Dukeofearl, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Onto to another of the Dark Horse series. Decided to skip around a little bit and hit up the smoke stout. A rather interesting style choice here, but I was in the mood for something different and decided to take the plunge. Now this was an interesting and very nice pour I would have to say. First off, just pitch black, no light coming through on this one at all. Really just tremendously dark and thick looking. A small two finger tan head rose up from it, quickly faded down to just a thin pillow and left behind large amounts of sticky chocolate lace. Now this was a dark thick stout, I got a drop on my counter that I did not notice right away, and it took a little work to scrub it off this morning!

The aroma was very nice, a good little bit of a smoked aroma was naturally present, but it was a nice roasted coffee and cocoa smell that seemed to dominate it. As it warmed, some light notes of caramel came through, as well as a touch of earthy and dark hop notes. The flavor followed along beautifully. At first coming through with a large dose of chocolate malts that really just smooth right over the tongue, as it developed some sweet sugary notes and a bit of coffee start to come through. With a nice finish that was more complex with every sip. Started off with a touch of coffee like bitterness that slowly evolved and turned into a more dark and sweet finish and left a long lingering smoky flavor on your tongue, now I was wondering when that would come into play. Very nice full-bodied Mouthfeel that was never thin or dull feeling at all, and had a creamy smoothness that was just perfect for the style. I am not sure how strong this one is, but I was easily able to finish it without much trouble, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Overall not bad at all. I am really enjoying this series of big stouts and think they are doing some nice things up there as far as experimenting. This was not as big on the smoked flavor as I thought it would be, but that was fine, it was just enough to give it a little flare and keep me very interested. Overall a rather nice example of the style.

mikesgroove, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of hoppymeal
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a big dark caramel head that slowly recedes. Aroma is a nice smokiness, some cola sweet maltiness and a little roasted malt aroma as well with a little acidic tanginess. Taste follows the aroma fairly closely with a nice smoke quality, cola sweet malts show a little fruitiness as well. Nearly burnt roasted malts mingle well with the smokey flavor. Mouthfeel is medium in body, decent, carbonation is creamy, a bit of a hoppy, drying, peppery finish. A very drinkable stout, everything was in good proportion, sweetness to smokiness, very drinkable.

hoppymeal, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of BeerTruth
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to northernbrews for this brew.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

I can't say I've ever had a smoked stout, let's give it a shot.

Pours a complete midnight black with a big dark mocha three finger head that quickly dies down to a thin layer of bubbles. Not much lacing is left behind on the sides. Smell consists of sweet malts, charred wood, and brown sugar. Slight coffee and caramel aromas find their way in the nose as well. Not as smokey as I had anticipated, let's take a sip. Mild burnt wood flavors from start to finish. Dates and plum make a quick appearance on the tongue but are quickly over taken by more charred flavors. Very slight chocolate malts also can be detected on the tongue. Aftertaste is a bit dry with roasted barley. Flavor is kind of one dimensional overall. Medium bodied mouthfeel with an extremely smooth feel. Low carbonation, but I like how it fits in with this beer. Pretty solid beer overall. Definitely give it a shot, but I wouldn't go out of your way to do so.

BeerTruth, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from BlackAngus as part of BC2. Thanks!
This one poured black as night with a collar of dark brown bubbles. The fine skim of foam stuck around for quite a while and produced some spotty lacing. Malty aroma with a charcoal character. Nice mellow smoke with some caramel, chocolate, vanilla and roast. Balanced, solid bitterness played well with sweet malts. Lots of caramel and bittersweet chocolate up front, smoke and burnt towards the end, but always accompanied by sweetness. Full bodied, average carbonation, slightly dry, decent texture. A solid stout with just enough smoke to keep it interesting, not enough to overpower. Nice balance.

DrJay, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of Viggo
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lexx picked this one up in Michigan, thanks!!

Pours an opaque black/brown, red edges, thin brown head, settles to a ring, some lace spots, looks basically like the other stouts in this series. Smell is sweet, chocolate, cherries and dark fruit, maple, cream, light smokiness. Taste is rich chocolate, roast, toffee, maple, cream, smoky finish, light though. Mouthfeel is light bodied, a little thin, low carbonation, easy on the smoke which would have distinquished it a bit from its counterparts, still pretty nice though.

Viggo, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - motor oil pour. A thin but dark mocha head looks great but is thin and gone too soon.

Aroma - plenty of roasty malt aroma out of the gate, fading noticeable after a minute. Maintains some good aroma though.

Taste - good roasty malt flavor in front, some sweetness balancing the char. The swallow has a very nice roasted coffee flavor and a weak touch of balancing hops. A touch grassy on the finish, more good roastiness on the finish with some good length to it.

Mouthfeel - firm bodied, medium carbonation. Well done.

Drinkability - not necessarily smoky, I've had regular stouts that tasted pretty much like this one. That said, the mix of flavors has sessionability beyond what I could normally tolerate for the style.

brewdlyhooked13, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of malty
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet-black. Semi-loose dark khaki 1/4" head. Very faint patches of lace.

A few swirls of my SA bulbous glass evoke a sweet & roasty scent of dark malts and some concord grapes. Some bitter dark chocolate & molasses creeps up at the end.

A somewhat burnt/charred wood flavor hits the tongue with a chalkiness that (I'm assuming) come from a hop element. Watered down dark fruit and roasted malts are there from start to finish.

Mouthfeel is watery and uneventful, mostly due to a very low level of carbonation. Medium bodied at best.

Drinkability is OK. I won't be tracking more of this down in the near future. The smokiness is very faint to where it’s almost undetectable from the ordinary roasted malt (general) flavors.

Overall a stout that has a very nice burnt/charred flavor going on, but not really any discernable ‘smoke’ flavor happening. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the effort, it’s just not my cup of tea - or stout.

malty, Jan 25, 2008
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours thick oil black as the rich body settles into the glass. A hard pour only gets about a half inch of milk chocolate colored head that quickly fades to nothing. Nose is soft but consistes of smoked meat and toffee. Enters the mouth with a slight smokey soured feel but quickly mellows to a rich burnt malt mouth hue. Extremely smooth and drinkable. Notes of bakers chocolate develop on the back of the tongue as the beer warms. Almost develops a creamy sweetness on the mouthfeel. This beer is hugely drinkable and one I will buy again soon.

SPLITGRIN, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: One a scale of one to ten…ten being too carbonated and one having no carbonation…this would be a two. This is pretty much flat. No bubble movement and only a thin dark beige film sits on top of the uber dark brown body.

S: Delicate smoke, milk chocolate, lactose, charred wood and a hint of grape sourness.

T: Begins with a medium roastedness with a low level swash of dried cocoa. Little bit of oatmealish flavors and some other fairly smooth graininess competes against the roasted barley. Some cola notes flit in and our while only a minor amount of smoke can be round. The smoke is more like some charred wood that you would find out of a campfire than actual “smoked” grains. Finishes a little choppy and not totally smooth.

M: Medium body, thin and hard across the palate.

D: Not really balanced and jagged flavors that aren’t melding for me. Mouthfeel is hard and not full how I’d like it. Not a bad beer but not a favorite.

Westsidethreat, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of bassmantin
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a moderately dark black/brown with a quickly dissipating brown head. Light smoky smell. Taste is sweet up front. I taste beef jerky in this finish. I don't really taste any smokiness - not sure about the style here. The mouthfeel is very creamy. Very drinkable especially for a stout. This is really nice beer, though. It's a little sweeter than most stouts, but still has enough strength to satisfy.

bassmantin, Oct 25, 2007
Photo of Dogbrick
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a growler: Pours a flat black color with a medium thick and foamy brown head. Sticky patches of lacing. Strong and smoky roasted malt and coffee aroma. The body is rich and smooth and the smoky character is consistent but not overbearing. Roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee flavors mesh very well. The finish is dry and smoky with a fair amount of hops peeking through. Not really anything to complain about with this one.

Dogbrick, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of kmpitz2
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. This beer is a very deep brown to black color with a very small deep tan head that falls quickly to a ring around the top. This one is still, with no light working though it. The aroma is ashy roast with a maple syrupy sweetness that comes from the mild smokeyness that sits prevalent in the brew. The flavor is a little more mild than expected. It starts with the ashy roast that moves to a mild chocolate. A peppery spice comes next and blends with a mild pine hop and gives a hint of coffee on the finish. The smoke is really mild in the flavor, and I would have liked it to be a bit more forceful. Mouthfeel is moderate with no detectable carbonation. This is a nice stout. The peppery character is a little strange, but it is something I have noticed in a number of the stouts in the series.

kmpitz2, Sep 11, 2007
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark and inky pour with a small tan head that leaves some patchy lacing. Aroma of chocolate, figs, anise, and a hint of smoke. Smooth and full bodied with an appropriate low carbonation. Taste is pleasantly complex. Dark roasty notes are prominent, with chocolate and coffee. Nuttiness and some fruity berry add a nice dimension and the subtle smokiness is just right. Very nice.

merlin48, Aug 27, 2007
Photo of MDekker
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last of the four...here goes...

Pours out jet black, like the others. Very little head, and no retention. Kind of a disappointment here. What's there is nearly brown. The aroma is smoky (maybe by the power of suggestion). Dark chocolate, too. Overall, nice. The flavor is meaty and, well, a little smoky. Faint hints of cranberry and coffee. Despite the lack of any head, it is nicely carbonated. Not as creamy as stouts can come, though. Goes down relatively easy. Overall, I liked One and Tres better, although this is still way better than Too was.

MDekker, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of BMoney575
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 6-9-07

Pours the color of a black hole, with a fizzy head that fades to nothing.

Smell is roasted malts, with a lot of caramel and some smokiness.

Taste is semi-sweet with tons of coffee bitterness at the beginning. the finish is smooth with quite a bit of coffee flavor followed by notes of smoke and molasses.

Mouthfeel is very good, super smooth and slick.

Drinkability is also very good, extremely well balanced sweetness and bitterness.

Overall, I miss drinking stouts. So many are offered during the winter, and pulled in the summer. A good beer and a special treat.

BMoney575, Jun 10, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obsidian with no highlights. There was also no head creation until the final ounce entered the glass, at which point a slim, mocha colored disk materialized. Within minutes I'm able see the surface of the beer again and there's next to no lace. Despite the escape of gas on crown cracking, I wonder if (a lack of) carbonation will be an issue.

Like the other members of this outstanding series, the nose is incredibly rich and incredibly black malty. One was Oatmeal, Too was Cream, Tres was Blueberry and Fore is Smoked. Although it isn't nearly as prominent as it would be in a rauchbier (nor should it be), sweet wood smoke smolders just beneath the surface. I can't wait to introduce beer to taste buds.

I'm not surprised that this stout is every bit as good as all the others since I'm sure Dark Horse used the same, or a similar, base beer. I am surprised at the intensity of the various flavors given the less than stout-like body. In that way at least, Fore resembles Too.

The flavor profile consists of charred barley, espresso, chocolate liqueur, anise, blackstrap molasses and the aforementioned sooty smoke. I may be picking up a hint of fruity hops, but it's hard to say with so much else going on. The fact that no alcohol is noted tells me that the ABV is no higher than 6.0% or else the brewers are masking magicians.

With more 'oomph' is the mouthfeel department, this could be even more special beer. Again, the brewers have done a remarkable job with flavor delivery... considering. A more full, more chewy stout would allow the deliciousness to linger even longer than it already does. Despite my worries, the carbonation is more than adequate.

Fore! is a shout that golfers use to say 'heads up' (actually, down) if you don't want to be beaned by a potentially lethal projectile'. Fore Smoked Stout is the final beer in the Dark Horse Holiday Stout Series that anyone who is interested in good beer owes it to themselves to try. Since it's a seasonal, 'head's up' come fall.

BuckeyeNation, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of mynie
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours inky black with a big, brown head and the whole thing is as opaque as the Bush administration. Rare you see a pour this pretty on suck a low ABV stout.

Smells like dark chocolate roasted malt. TONS of dark, bitter malt, nice and dry.

Tastes very nicely bittersweet. Chocolately nodes of hudge roasted malt, zippy burny alcohol yeast in the middle and a very tasty blot of mild smoke and black chocolate at the end.

The folks at Dark Horse had sense enough to not make the smoke overwhelming and instead use it as a compliment to the beer's other flavors. This works very well, and it's one of the most well balanced smoked beers I've ever had.

mynie, May 29, 2007
Photo of bahumutx
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a 12 oz bottle inti a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours almost black with little to no head.

Smell: Roasted malts, dark fruits and a slight smoke aroma

Taste: Starts with an almost coffee like bitterness and a roasted malt flavor. A smoke flavor appears about 10 seconds after I take a sip and then lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thing and watery Mouthfeel for a stout. Not much carbonation.

Drinkability: I would probably have maybe one or two of these in a sitting.

This is an interesting beer from Dark Horse brewing but has somewhat a thin and watery body for a Stout.

bahumutx, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of tboom29
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love Dark Horse's labels, very amateur yet unassuming. This poured very black, and very slowly came out of the bottle. Looks very viscous. Not much head on the beer at all.

Really not alot of smell here. A bit of roasted malt, chocolate, and a bit of smokiness, but really not a lot in the scent.

There is alot of great roastiness in the first sip. The smokiness permeates the beer, but is definitely not overpowering. Gives it some depth. Chocolate and malt are very present.
Mouthfeel is very full and viscous, really coats the mouth and makes you want another sip. Slightly hoppy finish.

I've had this beer before, and really remember it being very smokey, almost overly so. This seems to now have the right amount of smoke in it and is a very drinkable beer. Not my favorite Dark Horse, but very solid and I'd look for it again. Could be paired with any rich, slow cooked meal, maybe a pot roast.

Thanks to Lucy S for sending this to me.

tboom29, Apr 13, 2007
Photo of GbVDave
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: Pours just like all the other DH stouts (One, Too, and Tres...don't know about the "Fifth" Imp. Stout, I never tried it) in the series. Pitch black with a mocha colored one finger head.

S: Aromas of smoke, coffee, and bitter chocolate. Also has a certain "tartness" to the nose.

T: Big and bitter. Very smokey and roasted. Semi-sweet chocolate, burnt malt, roasted coffee, tart cherry, peat smoke, sweet rum soaked raisins, and spicy & bitter hops (at the finish).

M: Big and full. Creamy and quite bitter at the same time. Lingering finish that starts spicy and semi-sweet and turns bitter and tart at the end.

D: Almost sessionable. Very agreeable to the palate. Definitely worth seeking out each and every one of the 5 stouts in the series.

GbVDave, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of alexgash
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Similar inky, thick, dark black body as the other DH stouts. Small, tight, dark cocoa head. Minor lacing. Mildly sweet roasted malt aromas, chocolate/cocoa beans, and a mild, but noticeable meaty smokiness. Not quite as smoky as I was hoping for, but it's still good. Meaty, smoky flavors right off the bat. Roasted coffee bitterness in the background. Hints of dark fruits before slightly metallic, mildly tart, smoky, peaty malt takes back over with escalating roasted bitterness in the finish. Delicious. Again, not Rauchbier smoky, but maybe just the right amount. Very drinkable, and dangerous, as I imagine that this is at least 7% abv! My favorite of the holiday stouts.

alexgash, Mar 21, 2007
Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 930 ratings.