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Dark Horse Thirsty Trout Porter - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Thirsty Trout PorterDark Horse Thirsty Trout Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

82 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 382
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 21.24%
Wants: 14
Gots: 44 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-12-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 82 | Hads: 382
Photo of SometimesIfart
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark Horse Thirsty Trout Porter.

This next set will likely be my last reviews for the next month or so. Taking on a hugeeee set of overtime in preparation for the holidays. Bought this at Monroe Liquor Plaza for $1.89 a single. I'd like to state that place has some of the worst customer service I have ever come across and will likely not be returning there again. Never felt so insulted to ask a few questions to a few obviously heroin addicted bums who work there only to support an apparent drug habit. Anyway, on to the beer.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass. The beer pours a deep ruby that is any semi penetrable when held up to the light. The head on this beer is truly a marvel to behold. Huge, taking up nearly half the glass with a clear creamy, almost whipped cream looking texture going on as it sits. Beer takes a few pours to completely empty the bottle carbonation is impossible to get a read on due to the depth. This is one of those rare beers that you want to just sit and appreciate for ab hour or two. The head retains quite well throughout the drink and leaves a thick stick in the bottom half of the glass.

Smell - Big chocolate notes dominant virtually the entirety of the nose. Dark, very bittersweet chocolates and like roast galore. Envelope the sinuses and disperse throughout the nasal cavities. Little bit of an...old? Smell. But Baltics usually hold up better with some age over the other types of porters. Coffee in medium roasted quantities. Bit of a sweet metallic twang as the beer warms up, but nothing offensive and it appears in most porters as they warm while sitting.

Taste - Follows the nose to a complete tee. Bittersweet dark chocolates with medium coffee notes and just a touch of that metallic twang. The flavor profile really doesn't stick around as long as you would expected and it is shy of greatly rich. As I stated I have a hunch this bottle may be a bit old. Usually I write more in this category but there isn't anything else to say.

Feel - The body isn't nearly as creamy as I had anticipated due to how well the head retained. But, the beer is rather light bodied with only a small prickling effect of carbonation coming through as it sits. The beer swallows very easily and it coats the mouth in bittersweet dark chocolate flavors as it sits.

Overall - This is probably the first porter I had that was actually better as it was cold and toned down a bit as it warmed. A solid porter overall, and at $1.89 a bottle I would pick it up again but I would really like to try it fresher. Extra smooth at 7% ABV. As always, buy one and come to your own judgement..

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Photo of T-34-85
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Good Beer.

Consumed from 12 oz bottle. Dark opaque look with a strong head of tan head.

Nose of roasted dark malts with a hint of caramel sweetness. The taste brings much of the same roasted malty sweetness, along with a definitive presence of bitterness, providing an assertive, but balanced taste with a little punch of booziness. Good carbonation.

Definitely worth a try. Good beer.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Undated bottle at 55 degrees into shaker
$ 1.89/12 oz bottle at the Lager Mill
Aroma of chocolate and roasted malt, fades significantly
Head large (six cm, aggressive pour), Light brown, creamy, slowly diminishing to four mm ring and irregular layer
Lacing – none
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor lightly roasted malt, just slightly bitter; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 3.75, Palate 4.25, Overall 4

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love this kind of beer. like a hybrid between a great porter & breakfast stout.
yeast and malt sediment in a 12oz, agitated & poured heavy. creamy dark tan head, dark brown opaque body. looks good.
smells like cocoa & a little alcohol & coffee.
tastes the same, lots of chocolate flavors, some complexity here, enjoyable.
good coffee flavors, roasted malt, oats, cooked dark rice?
nuts, warm dryer alcohol finish.
great beer, may try again

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Photo of NonSnob_BeerSnob
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice thick creamy porter almost a stout, great coffee flavor with a little bit of chocolate just a little too much alcohol on the after taste for me or my rating would have been higher. Definitely worth drinking again.

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Photo of mchegash
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at HopCat Ann Arbor location

Appearance - 4/5
A very dark muddy opaque brown in color. Head is quite creamy and delicious looking.

Smell - 4.5/5
Delicious roasty chocolate, a little bit of hops, a little earthiness.

Taste - 4.5/5
Smoky, roasty chocolate, hints of vanilla and cinnamon. The taste is really interesting, especially the combination of the porter taste with the cinnamon. It's a unique combination that I don't think I've had before. As far as I know there's not actually any cinnamon in this beer, but that's what it tastes like to me.

Mouthfeel - 4.5/5
Fairly full bodied, quite crisp, high level of medium intensity carbonation.

Overall - 4/5
This was a really great beer. I had this on tap, but I would definitely buy some bottles of this if I saw it at the store.

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Photo of ARoman
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap, poured into a shaker. The beer is a dark, nearly opaque cola color with a soft foam, off-white head with a moderate retention, and only a touch of lace. The aroma is roasted grains and chocolate with a light licorice note in the background. The taste is a medium sweetness with a medium-light bitterness. The beer is syrupy with a creamy fizz carbonation and a medium full body flavored with lots of chocolate and roasted grain that finishes with a clean licorice spiciness and some light notes of dark fruits. The aftertaste is a licorice cleanliness with coffee and bread notes.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bright black under a half inch tan tinted white foam cap that produces thick lace.
S: grainy nose with some chocolate.
T: Starts juicy and then some chocolate and grain come forward finishing with dark bitter chocolate with hints of espresso. Burnt roast flavors are constrained.
M: Lighter in body than a stout, creamy carbonation.
O: An easy to drink porter with some character.

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Photo of PhillyFoodie
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fine example of a nice well-rounded porter. Sweet toasty chocolate malts are perfectly balanced by a bit of cola, black pepper, some nice walnut, and a bit of spicy floral hops on the backside. Only had this beer and One Oatmeal Stout from Dark Horse but I will be looking out for them in the future. These guys seem to really know their stouts.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A very reasonably $8.25 for a 32oz growler at Michigan Beer Growler Company.

This is basically the very definition of a -- and I tend to dislike using the word this way -- solid porter. Really, my only beef with this beer is that I actually find it slightly too sweet. A little more roastiness would really make this a great beer. As it stands now, it's just a well-made, pretty standard porter. Good body for the style, smells quite nice, has enough flavor to keep you interested...

A fairly overrated beer, I'd say. it's definitely good, but not by any means exceptional.

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Photo of bcm75
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle opened with a very strong rush of air. Not a gusher, but it's hard to pour without excessive head. When in the glass, it does look good - a toasty brown and black color with a khaki head. There is something off about the smell, I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's a bit more acrid than I would like. The taste is moderately roasty with some nice acidic notes; tastes pretty style-appropriate to me. Mouthfeel isn't up to par, the massive amounts of carbonation are overwhelming the medium/heavy body. Overall, it's a miss.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a mildly dark brown, with a half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like smoke, licorice, coffee, and roasted malt. It doesn't smell as sweet as the typical Baltic Porter, in all honesty, this doesn't really smell like a baltic porer at all.

It tastes the same- hardly feels like a Baltic Porter, more like a dry English Porter or a dry Irish stouts. There's some definite smoke, ash, and ground coffee beans here, very dry flavor, with some licorice, and burnt malt. It's feel slightly watery on the finish, I wish it finished stronger.

This is fairly light bodied for a porter of 7% ABV, with a dry and creamy mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation.

Not one of Dark Horse's best offerings, I felt this did not meet my expectations for a Baltic Porter, let alone a good porter itself.

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Photo of charadrius_cerevisiae
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I have always been a Dark Horse fan, and really appreciate their beers, especially their IPAs and yearly stout lineup, so I feel like I have some insight into their taste and brand, but I also am full of a lot of hot air. Nonetheless, I have some air to blow:

A - Color is dark and opaque. Tan head is adequate and welcome, not overpowering nor underwhelming - a nice, friendly quality.

S - Dark and sweet malts fill the nose. There is a little bit of the fruity ale yeast esters that adds to the complexity of the aroma, drawing one into the beer, and chocolate aromas are distinguishable amongst the rest of the vapors.

T - It may be naive to say, but for me, Baltic porters were supposed to be the "Imperial porters" of the style, and those Imperial stouts have made me wanting more from my Baltic porters. Sure the definitions call for deep and sweet malts, fruit esters, alcohol, and more profound characteristics than in their lighter brethren, but Thirst Trout drinks more like a moderately-complex porter than an Imperial ale, combining a bit of either category and leaning toward one another in different sips.

M - Medium bodied without alcohol warmth. Appropriate carbonation level for the style, keeping it light and drinkable.

O - Very good and drinkable porter, though not necessarily a Baltic porter. The thing is (and here I go blowing my hot air) that it really has the taste of the other Dark Horse dark beers. There is something identifiable in the recipe that one can specifically say is Dark Horse, as it is a profile that they have in their other beers. And that is not to say it is a bad thing - it is refreshing to drink something that you know where it came from and it is a trait that they carry over from brewing to brewing - and its nice to have a consistent friend to come back to from time to time.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a fairly complex porter, that disguises each note until the beer warms up. Chocolate malts and brown sugar/molasses forward. Dark fruit and anise notes come out in the back end. Think of a dried fruit covered in baker’s chocolate. Thin in body yet creamy in mouthfeel - toes the line between porter and stout quite well. The 7% is not overly noticeable here.

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Photo of KevChiTown
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

First Baltic Porter, so I'm not sure yet what I'm looking for in the style. I like cold black coffee flavor, but it doesn't hang around. Wouldn't mind a few more of these.

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Photo of MorganStout
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My first Baltic Porter and I must say I am quite impressed. Lots of different flavors and the coffee and chocolate really stand out. Wish this was a tad stronger (abv).

Dark Horse does it again. If you see it buy it!

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Photo of biegaman
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thirsty Trout Porter is by most accounts a thoroughly black beer, though even casual inspection to the light reveals a great deal of chestnut colour and even some clarity. We will call it opaque, though we wouldn't be entirely accurate. Its head is stained with an almost greyish tint. To my disappointment, none of it sticks to the glass.

Much in the same way that wines are often reviewed with tasting notes that say something along the lines of "lush berries, soft tannins, light oak" - observations that could describe countless numbers of styles - it's accurate, albeit not exactly useful for me to characterize this aroma as having "cold coffee, dark chocolate, and dried fruit" notes.

Truth is those features are or can be present in many types of dark beers, and they don't exactly help narrow down whether this is British, American, or even Belgian influenced. As it happens, this recipe is in fact styled as a Baltic porter, which, as it happens, has always been to my senses among the most distinct styles. How so? Good question...

What distinguishes a Baltic porter from other types? For one, it has a slightly 'stale' quality. This 'oxidative' element can be almost Port-like when combined with the vinous, dried fruit (cherry, currant, prune) flavors imparted by its esters and likely mimics how it used to have tasted after spending months in transit from England through the Baltic States.

There's also little actual roast considering all the dark, deep flavours. This is notable. Both coffee and chocolate flavours exist without the usual bitterness and, unlike a stout or some 'imperial' porters, there's nothing remotely ashy or smoky about it. It drinks with smooth, lush qualities and doesn't resemble anything close to its true strength (7%).

There's also two keystone flavours that are invariably present: unsweetened cocoa and black licorice. This one shares reserved yet noticeable amounts of those to accompany its prominent black coffee taste. There's even less molasses and nutty sweetness though, again, there is some. The finish, however, is bone-dry as the trout on its label.

The late Micheal Jackson, hailed as the original and still greatest beer writer of all time, said of the difference between stout and porter that it was "as unambiguous as a horoscope". Imagine then the difference amongst porters themselves! This review should have focused less on categorizing this beer and instead taking it at face value - Thirsty Trout is a nice offering, simple as that.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

Pours black with a small tan head, quick to a modest lace.
Smells really tasty, with lots of milky chocolate, sweet coffee, faint dark cherries, rich caramel, cream and cinnamon, licorice, roasted malt.
Starts really juicy, like iced coffee-milk and cocoa mix, topped with cinnamon and a great refreshing dark fruity zing underneath that really fits. Gets a bit darker but also sweeter, with molasses, faint plum jam, dark roasted malts, extra coffee powder, faint herbal-kinda note (hinting coke, some licorice). Finishes with a bit of nut, a touch of ash and some burnt bread crust.
Rather light bodied, but not watery. Smooth, subtle carbonation, really easy to drink. Aftertaste is roasty, dark chocolatey with a bit of lingering coffee.
Really tasty, complex enough and extremely quaffable. One of the most thirst-quenching porters i've ever had, i wonder if there's any relation with the name in this matter.

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Photo of Guas11
4/5  rDev +3.6%

12oz bottle, poured into my favorite tulip. Nice black color with reddish hue when held to light. Aroma of chocolate, roast and coffee. Nice smooth porter that has a very nice mouthful and feels highly drinkable despite its 7.0% abv. Nice effort from Dark Horse yet again. Salute

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Photo of nodder
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Dark brown to black with a thin tan head. Slight spotty lacing on the glass.

S- Sweet dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts. Smells like a nice porter should.

T- Unsweetened dark chocolate and coffee flavors dominate. The dark maltyness is there but so are the hops to balance things out.

M- Smooth and somewhat creamy. Light to medium mouth is surprising in such a strong porter. Light carbonation.

O- A great strong porter at 7%. I would have this again.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%

This is the first and last time I've ever seen this beer around. I found a single, never have been able to find a six pack. So here goes the only Thirsty Trout in my area.

Serving style : 12 oz bottle, poured

Appearance (4) : Dark, coffee bean body with great opacity. Smallish 1 finger head that recedes into a ring of lacing within a minute or two.

Smell (4) : Chocolate, coffee bean, roasted caramel. Mocha and cocoa powder. Slight ale smell behind it but so so faint. Yummy.

Taste (4) : Roasted flavor, chock full of coffee bean, dark roast coffee, hints of dark chocolate, peppermint milk chocolate. A full body, slightly bitter finish. The bitter notes are tamed here, most likely due to cascade hops and the rich roasted malt. This is a delicious beer.

Mouthfeel (4.25) : Full bodied, creamy, rich, and smooth. Like a good chocolate shake.

Overall (4) : This beer is like what you'd get if you had an iced coffee with malts and alcohol - but done right. It's a total campfire, sit and roast marshmallows, cuddle up and read a book (I sound like a friggin' girl), or comfortably watch MacGuyver (there we go, that's more man-like) beer. It's very roasted, very chocolate-coffee, and very dark beer all at the same time. One of the better porters I've had.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%

From notes on 11/15/13

Very malty smell. Dark dark black pour with little head. Mmm, nice smokey taste. Easy on the taste buds. Lots if roasty malts. I like it.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Pitch black with a one-finger tan head
S: Milk chocolate, cocoa powder, a bit of coffee and malt
T: Not as complex as the nose; mostly malt with some chocolate
M: Medium-bodied, smooth
O: A good porter, tasty but I wish the flavors were at the level of the nose

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Photo of barczar
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This one's at least a year old, probably 2.

Pours an opaque deep brown with a modest frothy mocha head that lingers as a thin layer of foam.

Deeply nutty, toasted malt, chocolate, and prunes form the initial aroma. There's a hint of roast, but chocolate dominates.

Flavor reveals underpinnings of raisins and prunes, which are met early by chocolate, becoming somewhat roasty and a touch bitter mid palate. The nutty malt backbone is present throughout.

Body is fairly full, with a slick mouthfeel and modest carbonation. Alcohol warmth is light.

Great malt character, with a nice balance between chocolate and roast, though chocolate outshines the roast. The nutty, toasted malt is a nice treat. The dark fruit adds interesting complexity. Becomes a touch metallic late.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I do not remember where this beer came from - whether I bought it at a local bottle shop or if tone77 brought it by in one of his in-person trades. Either is possible because I generally eschew buying bottles, I am a huge fan of Dark Horse B.C.'s beers and will buy them for myself.

A vigorous pour led to a pseudo-cascade which settled into a finger of frothy, deep-tan head with limited retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44), allowing zero light penetration. Nose was very roasty with a deep charcoal aspect. Say, is the Trout a Stout? Hmmm. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was very much of charcoal and dark chocolate. Finish was semi-dry with the roastiness leaving a bitter, smoky flavor as its aftertaste. This beer leaves me with a conundrum, since it is not really what I would consider a porter, but more towards a stout. I did not dislike it, but it was not really what I was expecting, either. I guess that you will have to try one and gauge it for yourself.

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Dark Horse Thirsty Trout Porter from Dark Horse Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.