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Dark Horse Raspberry Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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236 Reviews
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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 236 | Ratings: 697
Photo of entenduintransit
4.17/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Murky, unfiltered appearance (which I love), delicious aroma, the taste takes a moment to hit, but when it does it's pleasant. Not overbearing with the raspberry but it does take the forefront. Feels great in the mouth with a surprising amount of carbonation. Aftertaste is typical of a fruitbeer. Not the best that Dark Horse has to offer but surely underrated in my opinion.

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Photo of sourwench429
2.43/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

A pretty middling amber body with raspberry. Not sweet or cloying, refreshing.
At the end of the day it's adequately carbonated, has some alcoholic and is largely inoffensive. But there's nothing I'd write home to Mom about.

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Photo of drunkenmess
3.19/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Ehh. Was expecting more fruit burst but still not bad taste tho. Actually the fruit smell n taste enhances as it warms. Pours an apple cider color with little to diminished head no lacing. Smells of tart raspberries and a hint of alcohol. Taste is pretty much laid back, nothing special here. Actually it's easy sipping beer. No real taste at first, all in the after wash... strong but not overwhelming bitter yet sweet linger. Not bad, prefer their other offerings tho. Cheers!!!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.12/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance : Pours an iced-tea-orange colored body, delightfully hazy, with a generous cap of white fluffy head on top. The head stands at about 1 finger and stays there for pretty much the duration of this review.

Aroma : Crushed raspberries, seeds, and dirt, with some skunky grain going on. Some dank urinal smell also accompanies it. Not too impressed with the aroma.

Flavor : I thought for sure the taste would be better than the aroma. Not so. Two dimensional, mostly wheaty with a bitter raspberry tail. This is really not enjoyable at all.

Mouthfeel : Creamy and smooth, with adequate carbonation, this makes the beer somewhat palatable and easy to drink.

Overall : I have nothing else to say. This might even be a drain pour. The worst offering from Dark Horse yet.

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Photo of dthrift3
4.5/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color caught me off guard immediately from pouring. I was expecting a more red color than an orange, but I'm a "newbie", so I could and probably wrong in my expectations here.

The beer starts off sweet, but seems to be evened out midway through the sip. Maybe some honey perhaps? Whatever it is, does not effect the taste, but helps smooth out the sweetness. Finishes smoother than bitter.

Would for sure drink this again!

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +18.3%
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 mchegash
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 3.75/5
Pours a hazy deep orange. Not exactly the color I was expecting for a raspberry beer. The color is nice though. Small amount of head. Can see a ton of little carbonation bubbles rising.

Smell - 3.75/5
Strong raspberry smell. Maybe a hint of malts and alcohol.

Taste - 3.25/5
Taste is kinda weird. Its a blend between the raspberry flavor and then some weird earthy and bitter beer taste. It definitely still tastes like a beer, rather than a raspberry soda, which is good in my books. But I'm not sure I like or understand what is going on in the taste with this beer. The raspberry flavor and the other beer flavor seem to be clashing, rather than working together and complementing each other.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium bodied, there is a light amount of medium intensity carbonation. Smooth. More crisp than creamy.

Overall - 3.5/5
This was an okay beer. Probably nothing I would buy again, unless I was really craving a raspberry beer for some reason, and had no access to some Founder's Rubaeus.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.51/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a Dark Horse pint glass

It is burnt orange with some amber highlights. It appears cloudy with maybe a touch of rose coloring. Three inches of off-white head leave some decent lacing.

It smells like a raspberry ale. The aroma is sweet raspberries, and I get a floral smell.

Raspberries are the dominant flavor. The base beer makes itself known.

Medium mouthfeel

My girlfriend digs the raspberry ales. I figured I'd give it a try. I find fruit beers at their most desirable on a very hot day. Today is not one of those days.

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Photo of MN-Nice
2.39/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not a very good beer. Can smell some raspberry but barely comes through at all as far as taste goes. Horrid aftertaste, gets slightly more bearable as you drink it. Definitely not worth purchasing, maybe worth a try if a buddy's offering it for free.

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Photo of Mikus
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

By itself, this was very raspberry everything... a bit thin on the palate, and a bit cloying and sweet . This might be sacrilege, but I mixed this with a homebrewed stout (very standard and straightforward, bit roasty, generally balanced), and the resulting mix was better than the sum of its parts. About 2 parts stout to 1 part HD Raspberry. This beer does have a place, but IMHO, it is not standing solo. Would buy for this purpose!

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Photo of joe12pk
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%

Needs a little sugar. Seriously. Go to your cupboard and toss a teaspoon or so in the glass & mix it up! I rate it 3.95 with some sweetness added.

P.S. Corn syrup will mix much quicker than sugar. Cheers!

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Photo of Brewsip
4.05/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer is not too sweet; it has a nice after taste and pairs well with foods more commonly combined with wine. It is also good with heartier foods such as bacon wrapped dates and pretzel puffs with beer cheese sauce. Will buy to serve at summer gatherings at home.

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Photo of sonnens4
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: pours a light copper/dark burnt orange color, small head, mostly clear

Smell: berry, tart, slight malt scent, cinnamon, earthy tones--very aromatic and relaxing smelling

Taste: tart, yet sweet raspberry flavor, nutty, slightly malty

Mouthfeel: very carbonated but light in body--almost too much carbonation in my opinion

Overall: For a fruit inspired beer, this is one of the better. However, it can get old and seem redundant after a while--the sweetness becomes slightly overwhelming.. but for every once in a while, it's a great option!

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Photo of brutusmuktuk
1.86/5  rDev -45%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle. Has a clear golden hue with a quickly dissipating white head. The aroma is faintly raspberry, and this is probably the best part of the beer. The flavor has hardly any raspberry, but more of a wheat. Even then, there isn’t much. Carbonation is low to nothing, and the beer leans on the watery side. Unfortunately this just isn’t a very good beer, and I happen to like fruit beers.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like this raspberry ale because it has more of a malt base than just white wheat, and while the berry doesn't come through and blow your mind, and it doesn't stand out really in any way, its important to remember that this is good because its different, innovation pays, at least for me. hazy almost amber copper color to this, minimal white head and a pink tint. the nose mixes sweet and tartness of the berry with a sweeter and larger malt profile than usual for a fruit beer, which to me is this beers most redeeming asset. the taste has a surprising amount of front of flavor hops to it, before the fruit flashes in and then the malt finishes it. an odd flavor journey really, filling for the style, and without a ton of real raspberry in the taste. I do like the mix of richer grain and fruit. fuller bodied and rather poorly carbonated, but a cool beer nevertheless.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.79/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tall pint glass, color is copper with a feint red hue, head is bright white, small fine bubbles, no lacing.

Smell is tart, light fruitiness, raspberry is noted, feint lighter malt flavors, some biscuit.

Taste is surprisingly fresh, light raspberry and tart flavor, subtle malt flavors, touch of biscuit, decent bitterness but no hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is a little sharp on the tongue from the carbonation, flavors linger, mouthfeel/taste combo is of the more standard fruit beer balance.

Overall, a decent fruit beer, it reminds me of my own homebrew take on a lighter ale with fruit. Raspberry is one to use to get the flavor to come through the beer, also helps to keep the malt/hop profile subdued.

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Photo of chuckv
2.72/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours a light hazy orange color, smells a little off fruit. didn't really get any raspberry at first then it came later. a little tart the more it sat the more the fruit came out. nit a huge fan of the fruit beers but try it anyways. will not drink this again, not a fan of this beer.
12oz bottle

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Photo of PorterLambic
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a faintly hazy, orange/amber color with a small,off-white head. Retention is decent and leaves some minor lacing.
Smell is malt, raspberry, graham cracker, ginger, faint hops and a hint of brown sugar. Decent balance.
Taste is mostly brown ale with some artificial, tart raspberry added to it. Malt, hops, caramel.
Nearly medium bodied, carbonation is lighter than expected. Drying finish. Faintly warming, though. At best a decent brew, nothing worth searching out.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Raspberry Ale pours a hazy reddish color, with a small lacing head. The Aroma is weak but raspberries are present. The taste has a nice crisp malty backbone, with wheat like flavors mixed in, and raspberry flavors on top. Very drinkable , nice flavors, nothing overpowers. Overall a very nice mellow fruit beer.

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Photo of Ri0
3.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

poured 12 oz bottle into Duvel tulip

A - Amber/orange wood color with 1.5 finger creamy white head. Faint ring remains with only a trace of lacing.

S - I pick up some straw, floral hints, berries, grass with clover and honey. Some light malts.

T - Nice wheat and berry flavor, presumably raspberry. Some straw, grass and hints of floral and lemon. Also get some saltine cracker with light malts. Drinking this on a hot day makes it more desirable.

M - Light bodied, slick, wet, with medium carbonation.

O - Definite step up from Shock Top, but if I want a fruit beer I'll turn to New Galrus. My advice is to only get this if it is very hot outside to quench your thirst at only 5% ABV.

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Photo of DeFaz
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

The main problem with fruit beers is that often the smell and taste of the fruit being employed is simply too strong, drowning out the smell and taste of the malt, hops, and other beer ingredients. Well, here comes a beer that is quite light on the raspberry in both scent and taste. The only problem is that it really doesn't have much else to take its place. Yes, you'll taste some malt and hops, and mostly bread and yeast, and nothing is the least bit offensive. But you won't be blown away by anything. This is a forgettable beer, one that avoids being overpowering but that doesn't have anything to be memorable in the least. No, it's not too sweet or too tart. The mouthfeel is great, as the thickness is right where I wanted it to be and the carbonation is enough to keep it interesting while not distracting from the flavor...but the flavor itself just isn't enough. Instead, consider Thirsty Dog's Raspberry beer if you can find it. Dark Horse's beer just simply doesn't try hard enough. Or, maybe we should celebrate a beer that doesn't surrender to fruit flavors and aims to be a bit more mild. I just don't know, but I do know that I won't go out of my way to find this again.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.46/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy, murky gold with a bubbly, creamy white head that recedes relatively quickly, leaving only a small amount of lace on the sides of the glass.

S: Pretty neutral nose. All I can pick up are hints of biscuit, cream, and crackers from the malt with a hint of grassy, herbal hops. Disappointingly enough, no raspberry aroma is present.

T: Notes of cream, crackers, and biscuits from the malt are chased by flavors of straw, lemon rind, grass, and herbs, with subtle impressions of ripe red raspberry only developing around mid-palate. The finish is fleeting with notes of raspberry overwhelmed by grass, herbs, biscuits, and crackers.

M: Relatively slight in body, though it does develop a bit more heft once it settles in the mouth. Definitely not the driest beer in the world. Carbonation is fairly supple, but not particularly firm or crisp. Drinkable, but a bit slick for my tastes.

O: Not a bad fruit beer, though I feel I'm being a bit generous in my assessment. This reminds me more of an American pale wheat ale or an American blonde ale than a fruit beer. Nothing about it really stands out. I would not turn it down on a hot day, but I doubt I would seek it out again. Though this beer is well worth trying once, there are far better fruit beers on the market.

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Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev +5.3%
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 tectactoe
2.96/5  rDev -12.4%
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 AlexFields
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a lightly clouded medium-dark amber, average head...no hint of fruit in the appearance really, fairly plain.

Smells of light sweet berry, candied sugar, raisin, other generic malt character.

Tastes pretty similar--some moderate sweet berry but not a huge fruit character, some other plain sweet malt.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, solid carbonation, good drinkability.

This is okay, I like it, but it needs a lot more fruit to really shine. I'm confused about why so many breweries still make lackluster fruit beers after the examples set by New Glarus and Selin's Grove.


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Dark Horse Raspberry Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.38 out of 5 based on 697 ratings.
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