Dark Horse Raspberry Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Dark Horse Raspberry AleDark Horse Raspberry Ale
721 Ratings
Dark Horse Raspberry AleDark Horse Raspberry Ale

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 08-05-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 721 |  Reviews: 240
Reviews by ACon204:
Photo of ACon204
3.54/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, orangey-gold. 1 Inch worth of a white foamy head that was retained quite nicely.

Smell: Single dimensional in aroma as I'm not getting much from the hops or the grain bill. But the raspberry notes hit you in the face immediately. Refreshingly sweet and certainly has me thinking of the summer time despite the 40 degree F weather. We're off to a very solid start. My mouth is watering a bit.

Taste: Disappointed that the extreme raspberry aromas did not translate to the flavor of the beer. It's as if the flavors and sweetness of the raspberries had been removed and what's left is the tartness (almost cranberry-like). Earthy hop flavors seem to clash a bit with the tartness of the raspberries.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing, well-carbonated, with a light to medium body feel.

Overall: At first glance, there is very little I can complain about. Everything from the aromas, to the looks, to the mouthfeel, screams refreshing and flavorful. However, the clashing flavors of the hops and the fruit tartness was a little off-putting. Maybe I'm being a little critical, as I was so incredibly excited to taste the beer and was unfortunately disappointed.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Brass restaurant in Mount Pleasant on tapas night $1.00 off so I gave it a shot,pours a hazy blond with the red raspberry tint.Aromas of fresh raspberry puree and wheaty malt,flavors are not as tart as expected more sweetwith a firm dry malt backbone.Not really a fan of the style but gave it a try not all bad for the style but I wont have it again.

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Photo of DanGeo
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of tectactoe
2.96/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

On tap at Pete's Garage, during the Michigan-Syracuse Final Four game of '13. It pours a cloudy copper and amber color with an ever-so-slight, faint pink hue to it. Perhaps I'm imagining this hue because I feel like a raspberry beer should be pink. The soapy white head fizzles quite a bit and reduces to a skin pretty quickly and leaves minimal lacing on the sides.

The aroma is a bit underpowered to say the least. Raspberries haunt the edges, but the middle is made up of merely some light grains and not much else. I guess that puts the raspberry in the forefront, though, which is the silver lining. The raspberries almost smell a bit tart on the nose with a little bit of sweetness to back them up. The tail end has a faint, musky smell to it, most likely from the hops. I wish there was more I could pull from this beer, but there isn't much there at all.

Much like the aroma, the flavor leaves me wanting more. I get some very mildly tart raspberries up front - far from being "sour", as it's almost more of a fractionally astringent tartness that peaks instantly and fades away just as quickly. Unfortunately, the raspberry flavors come off a bit artificial and medicinal, leaving almost a chalky aftertaste. The aroma didn't smell quite so artificial, and it's upsetting to see that the flavor turned out to be that way. Some of the musky hops come out mid-sip along with a light graininess. Thin bodied with a hefty dose of carbonation and a crisp mouth feel.

Eh, definitely not the worst fruit infused beer out there, but miles from being near the top, too. The raspberry isn't as strong nor as pure as it should be. Overall, a little boring and uneventful, and the flavors that ARE taking place, aren't the best around. Might be good for people who are easing into the world of craft beer, but they'll soon be leaving this one behind them.

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Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.57/5  rDev +36%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice dull honey-colored beer with thin but well-built white head and big splotchy lacing. Nose is fresh beer smell with a floral/ perfumey hint of....seriously...roses. This beer smells like roses. It smells like a girl and I'm about to make out with it.

Mmmm she kisses nice. I'm really impressed with this fruit beer. It has a really sturdy pale malt and honey sweetness that is anything but cloying and the rasberry is so refreshingly restrained. It just sneaks in at the end to add an almost lambic-type sourness. The alcohol plays an interesting role here too. It isn't something you taste or really notice, but you can just tell its in there. Maybe it's in the nose or the mouthfeel. I don't know. Despite everything going on here the beer stays light bodied and creamy on the palate.

I'm not a big fan of most fruit beers but if I was, oh man, this would be the one.

 896 characters

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
2.14/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I would not revisit this.very disappointed.far from other dark horse offerings.

79 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

Not all fruit beers are fruit beers. Dark Horse Brewing states that they use "real" fruit, meaning that it is real fruit rather than the essence like many other brewers use. Brazen ruddy orange color shows some haze, nice lift of froth that keeps ample lacing on the glass. Could the haze be from the fruit pectins? Mild raspberry aroma, smells of fresh jam, pie filling or simply pectin in the nose with some biscuity and yeasty notes from the malt. Fluffy moderate body with just enough smoothness to get by. Light bready, biscuity or almost short bread maltiness meets a distant tartness and subtle raspberry flavor. A tad yeasty but clean. Finishes on the dry side, with more mild raspberry and graininess.

So their thought of "beer first, fruit second" is right on target. Don't be turned off if fruit beers are not your thing, you'll be surprised of how well this ale drinks compared to the fake, cloying sweet essence-ladened fruit beers out there.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Dark Horse Raspberry Ale pours into my glass a reddish orange hue with a quarter inch of bubbly white foam on top. Lots of active carbonation. Aromas start off with fresh picked sun ripened raspberry alongside a grainy wheat. A touch of lemon as well, but overall I don't get very much aside from the raspberry off this brew.

First sip brings a light, grainy maltiness that comes across a bit gritty, it's quickly followed by a rush of raspberry flavor that ushers in a nice dose of sweetness with it as well. It flows down with a touch of lemon and a slight sourness...finishing clean, a bit dry and without much fanfare. A somewhat lackluster fruit beer.

Mouthfeel is a bit lighter, with lots of carbonation that rushes across the tongue on the way down. An easy drinkin brew that I could see being good beachside on a hot summer day. Overall though, this one just falls a bit flat for me...nothing to write home about in my book and I don't desire another.

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Photo of heddar33
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of 77apm
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of VernonKell
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of Duster72
3.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very cloudy red-orange with a small head. Aroma is huge raspberries. I was rather surprised at how big the raspberry smell was. Taste follows the aroma with big raspberry with some malts behind it. Mouthfeel was a little on the syrupy side for me. This was too sweet for my preference, although my wife said it's biggest fault was being too easy to drink, so there you go. Not my first choice of beer, but it seems to be good for what it is.

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Photo of tigg924
3.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: hazy, 1 inch head, red/brown in color, low carbonation

Smell: toffee and raspberries

Taste: toffee, raspberries, and some hops

Mouthfeel: slightly bitter, medium bodied and carbonation, dry

Drinkability:An ok fruit beer where the raspberries are tart but not overpowering. Not as good as other Dark Horse beers. I would pass on this.

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Photo of 1Adam12
2.87/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours reddish golden. Huge head that lingers. Nice lacing. Smell: dude wheres the raspberry? Just yeasty here. Slightest fruitiness to it, but come on. Same with the taste. Maybe the slightest bit of spritzerish raspberry to it, but once again, come on! Just yeasty. Mouthfeel is decent. Slightly carbonated and creamy. I opened this before I sent it as an extra, and I'm glad I did for fear of embarassment. Just not very good. Not bad, just not good. Nothing like I would expect a dark horse brew to be. Just no raspberry...at all. Avoid this one.

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Photo of bsp77
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into a tall glass.

Appearance: Very cloudy, somewhat dark orange with a tint of pink. Foamy cream colored head, with once again a tint of pink.

Smell: Soda-like raspberry, more sweet than tart. That's about it, but pleasing.

Taste: Refreshing raspberry over fairly mild malts that seem to be between a light amber ale and a wheat ale. Maybe a touch of more English-like hops at the end. Very simple, but not overly sweet or tart - nice balance.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, light to medium body, fairly smooth overall. A little bit of a tingle going on. Slight dryness at the end.

Drinkability: Simple, but tasty and refreshing. For a fruit beer (which I often abhor), it is quite impressive.

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Photo of jaminjohnson
3.75/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of deebo
2.5/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours brilliant pinkish amber under a thin, offwhite foam collar.
S: the raspberry on the nose is somewhat muted and matched by grainy malt and a light hop touch.
T: A dry palate with light grains and a balance between the raspberry, malt and hops. M: Medium body and carbonation.
O: The raspberry is not as intense and could use something tart to poke it up a bit.

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Photo of bpfrush
3/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of KevBearcat529
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of williamjbauer
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deeply hazed amber with a nice off white highly carbonated spritzy, yet well formed head. Minimal thin speckled lacing is left behind.

Aromatics contain tart raspberries and a touch of yogurt lactic qualities, and that's pretty much it. No cloying sweetness just a deep sense of fresh fruit arises.

Flavors have earthy raspberry seed and musty powdered yeast interacting with more tart slightly lactic qualities, interesting. No boatloads of sugar subtle sweetness with more fruit flavor that finishes extremely dry especially for a fruit beer. The bees on the label have me confused, I'm not thinking there is any honey in the brew based on taste but the label it may be hidden among the fruit puree.

Body is light with sturdy natural flowing carbonation levels again the dry and tart characteristics linger on the palate and definitely dominate overall feel of the beer.

Drinkability is decent not interesting enough to grab a whole six but definitely worth a try on occasion. Betterr than 99% of the other fruity candy beers that are marketed these days.

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Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz undated bottle served in a snifter. Some sediment remained in the bottle despite a full pour.

The body is a red-orange-amber color, topped by a thin and fragile bone-colored head.

Aroma: RASPBERRY! with sweet malts and a suggestion of caramel. Fortunately, the flavor is not near as sweet as the smell, and is outright tart before the finish. A touch of citrus and bitterness from hops too. Admirably good, natural raspberry aroma and flavor.

Medium-light body seems a tad thin; medium-low carbonation and some dryness in the finish.

O: a well done fruit beer.
{lightly revised in August 2013 following a on tap tasting}

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Photo of IchLiebeBierZu
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

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Dark Horse Raspberry Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.36 out of 5 with 721 ratings