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Dark Horse Smells Like A Safety Meeting | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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110 Reviews
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Dark Horse Smells Like A Safety MeetingDark Horse Smells Like A Safety Meeting

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our most Aromatic IPA. An 8.5% India Pale Ale that is very reminiscent of the hop’s cousin in the Mulberry family. Lots of hop aroma with just the right amount of bitterness as we still like our balance around here. Between the secret blend of the most DANK hops that we can get our hands on and a "more than healthy" dose of double dry hopping, this beer can be announced to the nose from across the room that someone is definitely having a Safety Meeting.

Added by SportsandJorts on 04-26-2014

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Reviews: 110 | Ratings: 1,059
Photo of dcmchew
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours dark orange, kinda towards ruby/amber, with a compact one finger white head that lasts just a bit, leaving a frothy lace afterwards.
The usual dose of pine and grapefruit in the smell, also peach, apricot, cherry plum, a floral whiff, quite a lot of caramel and some cracker, too.
Bitter-sweet start, juicy with oranges, pomelo, grapefruit (lots of peel), a hint of mango, some peach jam setting the stage for a deep caramel sweetness and a sturdy maltiness that it's ultimately a bit too much. A sour grain note, bread dough, a bit of extra-toasted cracker. Hops bring a small floral note, a bit of weed dankness starting to develop, a spicy leafiness, cut short by big bitter grassiness. Finishes really bitter, quite earthy, hints of tobacco and some lingering maltiness.
Medium body and carbonation, just a bit sticky, regular.
It does somewhat remind somewhat of weed, but i had other IPAs that had that note even stronger. Malts are a bit too much tho. Not with the greatest out there, but a great hoppy beer anyway.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From notes on 5/27/14

Much more amber in color than I expected. Really does have a grassy weed smell to it. Taste is lots of hops and grassyness. Very dank and delicious.

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Photo of hosehead83
4/5  rDev +1%

Amber/gold in color, with a big, sturdy cap of bone-white foam.
Aroma-Big citrus hops
Taste-Toasted malt, lots of citrus hops. Well-balanced and tasty, smooth for the high ABV.

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Photo of A_Frayed_Knot
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%

This arrived in 6-packs to our local wine/brew shop just this week. I've been watching the show and I gathered this outfit knows how to produce quality brew. Out of the bottle & into a Oktoberfest glass, I am detecting a slight medicinal aftertaste that garnishes an otherwise enjoyable sip, clove-infused seeming, but not too sweet. Carbonation out of the bottle was intense but the lacing on the glass is inviting. A bit brassy for what I look for in an IPA but the only other one to select of theirs on the shelf was the Imperial IPA and it's got equivalent ABV as this one, maybe one of their regular ales shows up under 8% I will notice less medicinal quality. Cheers~

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Photo of elNopalero
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I reviewed a previous iteration of this beer when it was originally released on tap as Smells Like Weed. Now that it’s bottled and widely available I thought it would be fun to revisit.
This pours a vibrant amber with creamy toffee colored foam. There’s a great aroma on it. I'm getting lots pine and some orange dank notes. I found it to have a pleasing bitter assault with lingering piney notes makes for one delicious beer.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.29/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle dated 4/29/14 at 40 degrees into snifter
Aroma of conifers with some citrus thrown in
Head small (2 cm), off white, frothy, rapidly diminishing to broken ring and broken layer
Lacing OK – irregular islands and atolls with small to medium bubbles
Body dark orange, cloudy
Flavor of pine and malt, bitter aftertaste with long hangtime. No alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate medium, oily, lively carbonation

This IPA has reached the end of its drinkable life span. It still smells like an IPA and has the mouth feel of an IPA, but it is ugly (Looks dirty – like an infected urine.) and is definitely malty. If I could have read the date when I bought it, I wouldn’t have. That will be a thread shortly

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Photo of spinrsx
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle received in trade with mtomlins - thanks!

Appearance - Copper colour with a large size off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Hops, apricots, malts

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste apricot, grapefruit, and pineapple. There is also some caramel, malts, and a sugary sweetness. It ends with a leafy hop bitterness.

Overall - An above average DIPA. Listed as a IPA but at %8.5 and with the flavours it has - more of a DIPA in my books. Not sure when this was bottled but it still has a great hop bite and a nice balance of bold flavours.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/brown with a 1/2 inch head. Decent lacing.

Smell - Upfront piney, grapefruit hops. A little lemon along with some sweet sugar notes. A little malt near the finish.

Taste - First sip is straight up hops. Piney, grapefruit with some tropical fruits. Orange, lemon and some citric fruits are also tasted. Danky yet has a nice amount of sugar sweetness to counter the overall bitterness. Caramel malts come in near the finish to bold things up some.

Mouthfeel - Bitter hops coat the tongue first. Some sweet sugars,citric fruits and some caramel malts nail the palate. Aftertaste is danky, a little bitter and dry.

Overall - Decent dipa. Nothing special, new or groundbreaking. Just another dipa to put on the shelves. Doesn't stack up against the better dipas, therefor wouldn't buy this one over many others.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

We crack our final pair of bottles, pouring into our Great Lakes pint glasses. The color it takes on is a dark apricot glow, with a one and a half finger tall head of nicely retained sandy foam. Carbonation appears to be exceptionally active. The nose is full of dank and resinous fruitiness of hops and otherwise. Notes come in the form of kiwi and mango, apple and pear, syrupy caramel and toasty pale maltiness, dried cranberries, dusty soot, plastic and chemical phenols, tannic tea leafiness, and potpourri spice. The flavoring opens up with surprising depth of malts in the caramel direction, decent roast and sweatiness of said malts, along with grassy and nectary hop sugars, sourdough bready yeastiness, overripe pineapple juiciness, graphite, soured wheat, lemon skin, pulp, and synthetic cleaner, gingerbread, and white sugar sweetness. The body is on the full side of medium, and the feel comes up with pleasant slurp, smack, cream, froth, and glug. The mouth is left astringently dried with a sticky metallic film left across it. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks back nicely.

Overall, this beer has been burning a hole in the back of our fridge. Many a local Michigander has talked this one up to us, and for whatever reason, we haven’t gotten to it until now. The most memorable thing about it is its stank. The fruitiness is so syrupy, and perhaps it’s just our minds playing tricks on us, but with warmth it does begin to let out a bit of resinous marijuana leafiness. The flavoring is nice enough, but the caramel roast takes a front seat to the hops, which you would hope would persist throughout the entire tasting. This is a nice offering, and something slightly different for this brewery, but it doesn’t do anything wildly innovative or different. Great for a seasonal.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass

Pours a deep, rich orangey-amber color with two fingers of off-white head that leaves nice lacing. I really liked the color on this IPA; it’s somehow unique. The nose is full of juicy citrus hops and sweet caramel malt. I don’t pick-out the promised grass, but maybe I spent too much time in Vancouver…. On the palate, there is a nice malt profile featuring sweet caramel, bread and toasted malt. This gives way to a citrus hop profile that finishes with a pleasant bittering hop dryness and lots of resinous pine. The mouthfeel is really nice, incredibly smooth, creamy and sticky with just the right amount of carbonation. Overall, a really nice, balanced IPA.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Dark Horse's Smells Like A Safety Meeting last week for $2.09 at The Lager Mill. I've never had this beer and since this is the first time Dark Horse has decided to distribute it I thought I should give it a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I think it's a fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok, it's a little weird looking, but it is fairly eye catching. It poured a murky amber color that took on more of a brighter amber color when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of very light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice spotty and patchy lacing behind. This was a pretty good looking beer, it was a little dark for the style, but it still looked good.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness and it's followed by the hops being the first to show up, at first they are pretty fruity aroma with some, citrus, tropical fruit and berry like aromas that mix together very nicely and neither aspect seems to stick more than the rest. Next comes the hops which impart this nice dank aroma that is little weed like, but not that much and there's also some resinous and herbal aromas in the background. Up next comes the malts which are on the lighter side and they impart some sweet malt, slightly grainy and caramel malt like aromas. This beer had a very nice aroma, I liked how fruity and juicy it was.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness that's followed by the hops still being the first to show up and they impart pretty much the same aspects that they did in the aroma, but this time fruity aspects are lighter and the herbal, resinous and dank hops seem to stick out just a little more than the fruits Up next comes the malts which impart the exact same aspect that they did in the aroma with a slight amount of doughy yeast showing up in the background. On the finish there's a higher amount of medium bitterness with a hoppy and sweet malt like aftertaste. This was a pretty good tasting beer, the hops weren't as juicy as they were in the aroma but they were still the highlight of this beer.

M- Fairly smooth, a little crisp, a little creamy, slightly sticky, on the thicker side of being medium bodied and it had slightly lower amount of medium carbonation. This beer had a nice mouthfeel, but I wish it wasn't as thick and sticky.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was a good example of a American IPA, I don't think it really lived up to it's odd name since I didn't really find it to smell very weed like, but it did turn out to be an enjoyable IPA that was just a little more balanced than I expected. This beer had decent drinkability, it was fairly smooth, a little crisp, a little creamy, slightly sticky, a little filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, but I think the mouthfeel would start to wear on me after a while so I think one or two would be the perfect amount for me. What I like the most about this beer was the aroma, I thought it was the highlight of this beer and it was very well done. What I liked the least about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was just a little too thick and sticky for the style. I would buy this again if I saw it, but don't think I would need a full six pack and I would recommend this to anyone who like IPA's. All in all I was happy with this beer, as a whole I wasn't very impressed, but I did think this was a enjoyable example of a American IPA. This isn't my favorite American IPA or beer from Dark Horse, but it was still a good beer nonetheless. I do think the name is a little gimmicky. Nice job guys, this was a very solid IPA, keep up the good work.

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Photo of T-34-85
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Poured into tulip glass, this beer is surprisingly dark for an IPA, resulting from the darker malts used in its brewing.

S: A sweet smell with a nice scent of citrusy hops mixed in.

T: A nice balance of sweetness and bitterness in the taste with a good hop flavor.

M: Moderate to low level of carbonation with a surprisingly present level of heat in the back of the mouth and throat from the alcohol content. I have had numerous other IPAs with comparable levels of alcohol content that did not elicit this presence of heat

Overall: This is a unique IPA that is not too common to be forgettable. It is more of a sipper than a crisp light refreshment. I really enjoyed this IPA, and recommend other beer enthusiasts to give it a try.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smells like a safety meeting pours a golden color with no head. There is a sweet aroma, but has some very strong floral and hoppy aromas. The is sweet and wet, but still has some big floral tastes. Good flavors and good body, but very "wet." Overall its bold and strong, with some big hoppy flavors.

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Photo of majorbase2
3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark, murky amber color. A small foam head that dissipated rather quickly. Dark for an IPA. Leaves some decent lacing.

Smell: Lots of citrus up front. Orange and grapefruit. Malts. A hint of alcohol. Pine.

Taste: Malts up front, followed by citrus (most noticeably grapefruit). A little bit of pine. Not too hoppy. A little bit of bitterness. Alcohol is masked pretty nicely. Honestly, one of the more tame IPAs I've had recently. The murky appearance matches the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. A little syrupy. Not much carbonation.

Overall: A very easy-drinking, but, as mentioned, rather tame for an IPA.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured what I thought looked dark orange but then upon further inspection proved to be a nice reddish orange with a soft golden hue deep within it. Hazy. Head was off white, fell reasonably and di not leave much lace to speak of.

Nose is gentle but fruity. Orange citrus and a berry like tropical scent that is hard to pin down. Candy malt and a bit of graham cracker too.

Taste is lovely. Full taste on a soft creamy mouthfeel. Crispness in the drink and a sweet tropical fruitiness. Orange and orange pith. Finishes sticky and with a lazy bitter that lingers for a bit and then flourishes a little. Big malt flavor but not heavy. A bit of spice pops up on the nose as it warms and in the finish. Some apricot tartness takes you by surprise and the caramel comes forward more and more with a little honey to go with that orange.

I have never said this before but this beer would be perfect with a chile pepper. This drank big like a barleywine and if they put a little ancho chile in this it would be fantastic.

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Photo of IronLover
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rusty orange in color with a heavy, viscous appearance. Poured with a short white foam that slowly reduced to a thick foamy cap. Fresh, but slightly subdued orange and pineapple hop aromas with gentle floral notes and an unmistakable caramel malt backbone. On the maltier side of medium bodied with rich carbonation through the middle and a semi-dry finish. Resinous and ripe, dark citrus hop flavors up front with pine hop flavors intensifying from the middle to the end. Strong, sticky sweet, malty backbone throughout. Finished semi-dry with floral hip notes and a lingering, drying, pine hop bitterness.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into my chalice, deep caramel hued body slightly hazed one of those unfiltered Michigan brewers. This happens to be bottled on 6/5/14...It definitely doesn't smell like an expiration date there's a fresh smelling hop nose not decomposed hop accents hanging out there. Big malty and hoppy it's a huge DIPA more bordering a strong ale or weak barleywine. I'm pairing this malt monster of a DIPA with a Viaje Zombie Antidote it's got the right combination of pepper spice and Nicaraguan tobacco to balance out this big beer!!! Aroma has apricot preserves citrus mango and a bit of a booze coming through. Flavor deep pine, sweet apricot fruit notes, citrus pith bittering it out to the bone, with some lingering tropical notes adding some sweetness back into the mix. Mouthfeel a bit viscous and hot on the palate with alcohol, but it has enough hop resins to mellow everything out. Overall I'm very pleased with this big DIPA no frills in your face version of the style aggressive like most of the other beers in Dark Horse's stable.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.59/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Agree with another poster that this is borderline IPA in appearance (darker amber) and smell (I can't get much of anything, maybe a little orange). This pour had almost no head, and the resulting feel is sort of flat.

The taste is actually overall not that bad, some orange, honey, maybe papaya sweetness backed by a piney bitterness. There's a hint of alcohol, as well, but very light.

Overall, I didn't find this a remarkable drink, but it was decent. I won't seek it out, but might grab one as a change of pace sometime.

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Photo of jlindros
3.21/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Smaller fizzy slight creamy head covering fades at fair rate, little lacing, of course it's very dark for an ipa, murky iced tea brown maroon color.

Nose brings some sweet candy malts, little nutty brown malt and reddish toasty but not caramel, into earthy herbal hops, little black tea, bit grassy and leafy, little candied orange peel, etc, and touch of sugary iced tea.

Taste brings more sweetness, toffee, brown sugar, little candy syrup but not at all syrupy, sugar daddy, also not super sweet surprisingly. Then earthy herbal hops, grassy leafy, black tea, little orange peel and herbal tea spices, creamy smooth rich feeling. Fair to heavier bitterness attempts to increase on the finish, quite bitter on the finish, earthy herbal hops, more herbal tea, little dry but sticky, faint warming booze, candy flavours lingering too.

Mouth is med to bigger bod, rich creamy smooth like, decent carb, very faint booze.

Overall... well if this was a Hoppy brown ale it would be pretty nice, but an ipa?!! Nothing like it.

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Photo of Budinetz
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured slowly into a teku glass. Kept sediment in the bottle.

A- pours a deep amber color with a white fluffy head. Decent head retention with visible lacing. Beautiful lookin brew!

S- smells of fresh hops and bready malts. Hint of citrus. Not a whole lot going on here but it smells delicious

T- tastes of bitter grapefruit, biscuity malt, and piney hops.

M- feels slick in the tongue up front with a dry, bitter finish.

O- a solid brew. Very flavorful and well balanced with a great malt backbone. I would definitely buy this again.


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Photo of coriswrasse
3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. no date which can significantly affect the ratings based on age.
served in two snifters. does not smell like the good weed we get around here. sorry for you guys.

dark golden color, almost lighter amber red.

not significant head. see age?

nose is pine but not significant of any fruit. see age?

taste is hop and super sweet malt. sweetness hangs around. balanced but sweet.

no dryness on the tongue until very late.

taste is better than nose. it's a lupilin snack with a hint of sweet.

recommend but don't chase the truck.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The head is bright white with a dense thick foam and tremendously thick lacing. The color was a hearty and cloudy copper.

The aroma is filled with strong outdoorsy herbal aroma. Fresh mowed grass comes to mind, lemongrass, pine, and some dank onion. There is a swathe of sweetness in the form of caramel, grapefruit and lemon.

The taste is spot on the scent at almost every layer. The caramel malt is a bit stronger but the flavors mimic the scent perfectly.

Here's where I may lose a lot if people. I find this jaw locking, palate wrecking bitter to a point of being annoying. The astringency is palate drying. Many may like that and it's a matter of personal taste.

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Photo of Troville1990
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smells like a safety meeting, you say? I wish the meetings at my job smelled like the ones at Dark Horse. Anyway, gentlemen, let's go ahead and get this started.

A: Pours a deep orange, with a thick, creamy white head.

S: This beer smells sweet, juicy, and sticky, with abundant notes of ripe fruit, and a little bit of pine and sugary toffee/caramel supporting the overwhelmingly fruity aroma. Judging just by the nose, I'd say the guys at Dark Horse get so excited about safety meetings because somebody puts out an aromatic assortment of fresh mangos, pineapples, and tangerines to snack on.

T: This is nowhere near as sweet and fruity as the nose. As the implied joke in the name suggests, Smells Like a Safety Meeting is mostly dank and bitter. There is a soft undercurrent of delicate orange and peach, piney resin, a touch of lightly sweet caramel (nowhere near as present as the nose led me to believe), and earthy hops. It's definitely high on bitterness and hop presence, but unfortunately the other flavors are a little more subdued than I'd like.

M: Smooth, medium-bodied, and sticky. Low carbonation levels and a dry finish.

O: Solid for the the price and alcohol content (and the drug joke and surreal label art), but ultimately I wish the flavors just stood out a little more. Not a bad DIPA by any stretch of the imagination, but the taste is definitely a let-down considering how inviting the nose is.

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Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The bottle has a date that is hard to read but once held correctly says 5-13-14, I believe this is date it was bottle so this one should be fresh.

A - Pours out crystal clear dark amber with effervescent bubbles streaming up producing a small head that fizzled out pretty fast.

S - Sweet pine, marmalade, caramel, pineapple, apple. No sign of alcohol, but this one could use some more aromatics.

T- Sweet, caramel, resinous, pine, pineapple, slight bitterness. No sign of alcohol here.

M - Light bodied, really smooth, carbonation good, dry, slight bitterness on the back of the palate that builds but not very noticeable at first. I personally like a little more body.

O - Not my favorite IPA but it has some very nice qualities such as it being dangerously easy to drink. Be careful the only way I can tell this is 8.5% is the slight burn in my chest and the way my head is feeling. Taste and smell seem slightly more subdued then what I was expecting for an ipa. It is a pleasant IPA never the less, Cheers!

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Photo of homebrew311
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

What a ridiculous label,, and name for that matter. Poured into a snifter. Pours a deep amber, a bit dark for a DIPA with white head. Nose is very heavy on pine, resin, tropical fruit, and some woody notes. Not really getting any notes of "safety meeting" on the nose, just a pine forward hop profile. Taste features moderate bitterness with some fruity hop character as well as a momentum gaining pine that goes through to the end. There is also a significant malt profile that interplays with some earthiness. Mouthfeel is heavy and smooth. Overall, a decent brew from Dark Horse, but with the absurd label and name, I was expecting this one to stand out more.

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Dark Horse Smells Like A Safety Meeting from Dark Horse Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.
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