4 Elf
Dark Horse Brewing Company

4 Elf4 Elf
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Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Winter Warmer
Ranked #51
Ranked #20,606
3.8 | pDev: 11.58%
May 02, 2023
Nov 27, 2003
4 Elf is holiday cheer in liquid form. Spicy aromas like cinnamon and clove give this dark brown winter warmer a proper holiday welcome. Balanced between malt, hops, and spice at 8.75% ABV this beer goes great with all holiday foods—from sweet snacks to the roast beast.
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Rated: 3.81 by Ox8840bo from Illinois

May 02, 2023
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Reviewed by Whyteboar from Michigan

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Poured the promised brown color and sported a tan head which left rings of lacing.
The aroma was cloves- about the only scent that managed to make it through the damage of my nose.
The taste, well, it’s nicely balanced but has a whole lotta flavors going on. Cloves, cinnamon, orange peel, coriander and oh yeah, the malts. Nice bread, toasted forward malts.
It’s not one of my favorites but I can see how others would really enjoy this. Nice Winter Warmer.
Jan 05, 2023
Rated: 3.59 by RalphStanley34 from French Polynesia

Dec 12, 2022
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Reviewed by Historiker from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Poured a nice clear ruby brown. Produced around 3/4" of head that disappeared quickly with next to no lacing.
Smell was - as Dark Horse describes - a spicy aroma. Primarily cinnamon, clove, orange zest, and spicy hops.
The spicy profile applies to taste as well. The hops, clove, cinnamon, and orange are the main players. A bit of brown sugar and toffee as well. Honestly, I'd like a bit more sweet to balance out the spicy hops.
Mouthfeel is medium.
Overall, this is pretty good. It's certainly unique with its spicier profile, and I appreciate that it's neither a spice bomb or overly reliant on ginger. I do wish there was a touch more sweet (honey, malt, brown sugar) to balance it out better.
Dec 04, 2022
Rated: 3.5 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Mar 03, 2022
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Reviewed by Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
From the 12 oz can in a snifter. This different winter warmer pours a dark
murky brown with a very nice head of khaki foam that settles to a thick ring, thick
clumping layer, and shows off some very nice l;acing. Nose of cinnamon, clove,
orange peel, and spicy / grassy hops amongst some dark brown sugars. Flavors
follow with grassy and spicy hops, clove, orange zest, leather, brwon sugar
touches, caramel, and cinnamon notes. Nice mouth feel; medium body verging
on medium light, medium light soft carbonation, and a herbal bitter hop finish.

Overall, decent, but could use a touch of balance from the hops and spices.

Jan 22, 2022
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Reviewed by mjvlasic from Michigan

4.63/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
Look is dark brown in color. Smell is good. Taste is that of a slightly spicy beer. Contains some malt and hops. The flavors are well balanced- no flavor overtakes another. Feel is nice and smooth.

I’m definitely interested to see what other winter warmers Dark Horse has to offer! I have not tried the rum barrel aged 4 elf yet, but I’m sure after trying this one, it’s excellent. Would recommend this brew for sure.
Dec 11, 2021
Rated: 4.18 by AshBlackstone from Florida

Dec 18, 2020
Rated: 4.23 by harrisjohnson from Maryland

Nov 28, 2019
Rated: 3.66 by desint from Belgium

Oct 09, 2019
Rated: 3.91 by Eyedoc27 from Illinois

Jul 22, 2019
Rated: 4.04 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

May 04, 2019
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Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottled 9/1/16; drank 12/12/16 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque brown/purple appearance.

A mild pour yielded a small khaki head; decent lace.

Caramel, plum, leather, light roast coffee bean & allspice notes in the nose; complex & enticing!

Smooth medium thick mouthfeel.

Caramel, plum & dry leather flavors up front; allspice, milk chocolate & faint booze heat notes on the finish.

A complex, drinkable winter warmer. I'd have another!
Feb 14, 2019
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Rated by Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Good for what it is. Bourbon bacon and beer
Jan 02, 2019
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Reviewed by damndirtyape from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
12oz bottle served in a tulip glass. Date 9.25.17 KAR 219.

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby red highlights - looks like sediment came along for the pour, but sank to the bottom of the glass. Thin off-white head with no persistent lacing.

Smell: Lots of spices with cinnamon and ginger dominating. Some underlying caramel and toffee sweetness as well.

Taste: Lots of spices again - cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. There is some underlying caramel malt, but it's well hidden under all the spices. There is also a bit of herbal/leafy hop flavor at the end - a bit bitter tea like.

Mouthfeel: Nice thickness - quite smooth. Very warming from all the spices. Light carbonation.

Overall / Drinkability: Not sure about this one given the date stamp. The spices held up well, but I'm wondering if this beer didn't age well. Very spice heavy to the point I felt the beer got lost - more caramel malt sweetness to counter the spices I think would have made this a better winter warmer.
Dec 30, 2018
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Reviewed by EMV from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Dark mahogany brown pour with 2 fingers of fluffy white head. Nice lacing.

S: Sweet dark sugars and spice. Clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Holiday mix.

T/F: Follows the nose... with toasted grains, brown sugar, and all of the above spices. Not obnoxiously spiced which helps, and some hopping to balance out the sweet. Medium bodied.

O: A decent Christmas spiced beer. Not one I'd want a lot of, but a nice change of pace.
Dec 18, 2018
Rated: 4 by BarryMFBurton from Indiana

Nov 13, 2018
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Reviewed by bushbeer75 from Michigan

3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12 oz brown bottle - not dated

Dark Horse 4 Elf has a very dark brown almost black color. A 3/4-finger tan head was formed that left behind very spotty lacing. The nose is dominated by spices common during the holidays; cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. The taste starts out with all those spices noted by the nose then a flavor of caramel and chocolate come through. The mouth feel is high-medium with moderate carbonation and a spicy finish.

Overall, if you like the Winter Warmer style that is to the spicy side then this ale is for you. 4 Elf is a flavorful easy drinker.
Jul 12, 2018
Rated: 4.16 by lovindahops from New York

May 20, 2018
Rated: 4.05 by entenduintransit from Tennessee

Apr 02, 2018
4 Elf from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 861 ratings