Dark Horse Raspberry Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

236 Reviews
Read the review
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 236 | Ratings: 701
Photo of Duster72
3.29/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 449 characters

Photo of schusterbauer
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a very light lager with a hint of pink/purple to it. smell is grainy, with fresh raspberry. the raspberry flavor is surprisingly and pleasantly natural, like a simple splash of fresh raspberry juice. how many brewers would have added syrup or sugar to produce a kool-aid flavor? not dark horse! it's actually a bit understated, resulting in a somewhat watery body. a bit more hops and/or maltiness wouldn't hurt, but that's a minor complaint. refreshing, and easily downable.

 475 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
1.71/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Originally reviewed on 12/29/2006. 12 Oz Bottle. Aroma of rotting socks and old fermented fruit parts. Pours a mucky ruddy-tinged brown. No head. Flavor is a skunky, rotting fruit flavor, with that dreadful off-spritz and a blast of souring malt. No hop presence. No decent fruit character and next to no carbonation. Nothing carries this beer. The flavor is unpleasant. Palate is weak and a tinge cloying. Overall, a real bummer.

 430 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.14/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Always seem to be partial to any kind of beer that has fruit in it. The color was a hazey, pale sunshine with some light sediment at the bottom and a very light, thin head at the topThe aroma is a lightly sweet ands hinting at a tart flavor raspberry. The taste is a little hint of tart, and good, natural flavor. Little bit of sweet, pale malt mixes with the natural goodness of the raspberry. Very easy to drink. No overwhelming fruity flavors. Just good for cooling down when you are in the Summer sun.

 505 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

 969 characters

Photo of blackie
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Pours a 0.5" off white head that steadily falls back to a thin layer. The beer is a hazy, reddish medium-amber in color.

smell: A nice blend of real raspberries and pale malts. Maybe a touch of wheat. Not artificial or syrupy. Very low hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a higher medium, and the body light but nowhere near thin. A little too soda-like after the swallow for my preferences.

taste: Flavors of fresh raspberries at the forefront with some pale malts just behind. Not too much else is discernable beyond the berries. Low hop flavor, as it should be, and just about the right bitterness level. Crisp, dry finish with lingering raspberry. Wheat?

drinkability: easy enough, but limited

single bottle from Star in Madison, brought back in a suitcase

 793 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
3.72/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a murky orangish amber with a 2 finger khaki head.

S - Tart raspberries mixed with peaches.

T - Fresh raspberries and peaches. Somewhat sweet but tart at the same time. Decent malt backbone.

M - Medium mouthfeel and slightly crisp due to high amount of carbonation.

D - A solid fruit beer. This one would go well on a hot summer day.

 355 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
2.36/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was the second beer of last night's tasting, as a follow up to the polish rasberry lager. This was probably the worst beer of the night. No freshness date to be found, so I am unsure of whether it is just old or if it is really this horrible. This was the only beer that nobody at the table could finish their sample of.

The beer pours to a dull golden amber color with very little head. Looks none too impressive, but honestly, I don't much care what my beer looks like as long as it is good. This beer failed to live up to any other sort of expectations, but I couldn't possibly give it lower than a 3.5 in the appearance category.

The smell is almost non-existent, though with a vigorous swish you can coax the rotting hay and vegetable aromas. Delicious. This is a fruit beer? Where's the friggin' fruit?

Seriously. There is no rasberry in the flavor either, just rotting hay and vegetables. Not one that I want to revisit anytime soon, but if I encounter a bottle that I am 100% sure of its freshness I might pick one up.

 1,040 characters

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.57/5  rDev +35.2%
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 Frozensoul327
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out to a moderately hazed orange color with low carbonation and a small head of white foam that dissipates quickly. Aroma of raspberries is noted, but not much else. Taste is mild, with little evidence of it's contents; light fruity flavors over bland malts and a touch of grain. Mouthfeel was uneventful. Little carbonation on the palate. Drinkability is average. More along the lines of a flavored wheat beer, but it's drinkable. Special thanks to Piecesofflair for the sample.

 485 characters

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a slightly hazy orangish/reddish color with a rather weak head. The looks don't impress me too much.
The smell is nice, though. Fruity and fresh. Smells like real fruits. But not a whole lot of the beer coming through, and not much hops.
The taste is a little tarter than I expected, and actually came as a bit of a welcome suprise. It's decently balanced out and not overwhelmingly fruity. Mouthfeel is medium with a nice, light level of carbonation. Drinkability if pretty good, but one will do me.

 511 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Riley's, brand new in the Madison Empire

appearance: I really like the label for some reason...beer pours into a great dane imperial pint glass, hazy rose-amber body, light beige head...glowing

smell: smell is mostly raspberry as expected, strong hopping, melon, light malt felt in the background

taste: I wont compare this to NG Rasp Tart because they are entirely different beers...tartness level is moderate, this has a fair amount of malt in the background to keep it from being full blown fruit beer. fresh raspberry does a nice thing with this beer. I enjoy it but it doesnt push any boundaries

mouthfeel: medium body, light tartness

drinkability: pretty good

 693 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.28/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison. Glad to see another good brewery distributed in WI.

Pour: hazy apricot-amber, nearly opaque with a half finger of khaki foam that fades quickly to nothing.

Nose: a variety of fruit nectars - apricot, peach, watermelon and raspberry - with a bit of husky malt in the finish.

Taste: sweet on the forepalate - citrus, raspberry juice, apricot nectar - with some caramel malt and sour cracked grain in the finish. A little thin and fading on the tongue.

Feel: thinnish body with a super-fizzy carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: it's no Raspberry Tart, but it's not really meant to be. A fairly standard, yet fairly drinkable fruit ale. Though my girlfriend whinced when she tried it.

 741 characters

Photo of murrayswine
3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well hmmm, kind of a wierd beer.

It pours and resembles a barley wine with a thick haze.

Smells like watermelon, slight tart, and maybe 1 gram of actual hops. Average smell at best.

The taste is like fizzy crystal lite, it lacks character and distinction.

The mouthfeel isnt bad at all, rather thick and creamy and pleasing.

All in all, if you are a Dark Horse fan, try it, but a quality fruit beer this isnt, but I think New Glarus Raspberry tary spoils me. Methinks I shall try another one and pair it with a cham torte dessert.

 545 characters

Photo of HoboAGoGo
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a murky brownish orange into a pink glass. Floaty yeast was apparent, didn't realize there was this much yeast in it. Nose was of some floraly hops and very faint rasperry. Taste was of light malt, lighter raspberry and a little hoppy bite. Not too impressed, was rather easy to drink, but didn't care too much for it. I'll see what's next.

 347 characters

Photo of tallar
3.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Appears to be a cloudy orange. Not much head or lacing to speak of, but as noted by others this stuff is highly carbonated!

Smell: Subtle raspberry aroma with what may be malt. Definitely not the most impressive smelling fruit beer I've had.

Taste: Relatively light beer. Wheat and raspberries are both present, as well as some tartness. Not the best raspberry beer I've had, but it's not bad summer brew.

Moothfeel: Dry and crisp.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, especially on a hot summer's day.

 519 characters

Photo of Wildman
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a murky orange yellow color and formed a pure white head that disappeared quickly. The aroma was of hops, and a small amount of raspberry. The flavor was of hops, raspberry in the beginning that faded near the end. The finish was light and a bit spirte, not really reflecting much of the raspberry.

 328 characters

Photo of mcallister
2.24/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

beer pours a cloudy orange red, with mucho carbonation yet very little head and even less lacing. What head is present is thin and white. What I beleive are yeast particles are quite excessive floating throughout this brew.

Nose isn't much to talk about. A yeasty burnt raspberry smell but all aromas are quite faint.

On initial taste i'm curious how old this beer is. No character, a little sour, with a yeasty malt, and a sour raspberry taste obviously. Not much else.

The sour mouthfeel leaves for a undesirable texture making this not the most drinkable beer I've tried. I'd pass this one if searching for a good raspberry ale.

 641 characters

Photo of Tallboy
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was first attracted to this brew by the odd looking label....but decided to see what my BA bros. had to say about it first before finaly makeing the acquisition.

Pours: A copper color with a nice red tint. It formed a minute head that faded pretty quickly.

Scent: Pleasant mixture of fresh rasberries and wheat and no overbearing alchohol to note.

Taste: First sip was a predominate wheat and yeast undertow followed then by the rasberry and a sourness at the end.

Mouthfeel :Was a little to light but yet still crisp enuff not to offend me.

Drinkability: I have only recently started buying and enjoying more fruit beers and this is one I can recomend and will enjoy myself again and again as long as there ice cold.

 734 characters

Photo of RedHaze
3.27/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish gold color with very little head that leaves a very small ring, and there's almost no lacing.

Smell; mild raspberries, a little orange peel in there with only a tiny bit of a hop presence.

Taste; tart raspberries are there, but they're mild and not overwhelming, a bit of oranges, and just a touch of hops in the finish. It's a fairly light and refreshing beer that I think would have been much better during the summer.

 442 characters

Photo of Brian700
3.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy pale with a slight reddish tint to it. It has a small white head that fizzles down to a ring around the edge of the glass with no lacing. The smell is good, mostly raspberry and a touch of what smells like someone getting a perm. It's strangely nice. The taste is raspberry mixed with the hops of a good pale. Very nice. The mouthfeel is nice, medium body with medium carbonation. It's a very drinkable beer. I recommend it.

 449 characters

Photo of SupaCelt
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is cloudy orange to dirty copper. Fizzy as all get out with a nice sized head that boasts some major longevity. Three dimensional lacing breaks out like a rash on select areas of my glass.

Smells are pretty much a laid back raspberry. A bit artificial smelling like a kool aid pack of powder. I get a tweaky canned meat smell outta there too. Tweaky. Some malt to go with the meat, but not much.

The taste is not razzed up beyond belief which makes me grin a bit more than I had surmised I would. The familiar killer tart that serves only to cause canker sores is not here either. Another reason for a grin of approval. Yeast throws some influence around which is partially my fault for gung ho-ing the sucker into the glass, not that it is at all an off character. The taste is pretty light. Not anything special. Just an unprovoking specimen of a fruity flecked freak beer. Not my 'druthers.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery and breezy.

Drinkability is not that grand as this is a fruit beer after all. I cannot see a reason for drinking more than one. Maybe if I was a girl. I can always hope I guess.

 1,122 characters

Photo of Gaisgeil
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A fine offering by Dark Horse, not a devastatingly outrageous offering, but quite tasty and likable.

Pours a medium copper in color with an overzealous white foamy head, lots of retention, too much really, this head would not back down! Nose is slightly grainy with a faint berry smell too accompany, quite alluring, I love raspberries! Taste is quite similar, very refreshing, mildly complex, but definatly sessionable, I shall revisit!


 453 characters

Photo of mentor
3.81/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by Eyedrinkale ala BIF20. Thanks much for the opportunity! Pours an enormous three finger fluffy head. Too much carbonation from only half of the beer poured so far. Cloudy and tangerine in color...this beer looks like a wit. Smells raspberry with some sweet and also a waxy that makes me think of a raspberry scented candle. Tastes only mildly raspberry and a little bit yeasty. It's wet sweet and lacks the sour/tart that often is found in raspberry beers. Aftertaste has apricot, mixed berries, and orange melon. Medium-light body and mildy carbonated (must have all been released during the pour). A sweet and fruity drink that's light and refreshing.

 671 characters

Photo of oberon
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

 366 characters

Dark Horse Raspberry Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.38 out of 5 based on 701 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.