4 Elf
Dark Horse Brewing Company

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From:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
 
Michigan, United States
Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #52
ABV:
8.75%
Score:
86
Ranked #21,074
Avg:
3.8 | pDev: 11.58%
Reviews:
214
Ratings:
643
Status:
Active
Rated:
Mar 03, 2022
Added:
Nov 27, 2003
Wants:
  59
Gots:
  166
SCORE
86
Very Good
Notes: 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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
Rated: 3.5 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Mar 03, 2022
Photo of Brutaltruth
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.

Cheers
Jan 22, 2022
Photo of mjvlasic
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
Photo of GuyFawkes
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
Photo of Bluerabbitbell
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
Photo of damndirtyape
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
Photo of EMV
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
Photo of bushbeer75
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
 
Rated: 3.9 by ajdemma from New York

Mar 24, 2018
Photo of AmeriCanadian
Reviewed by AmeriCanadian from Tennessee

3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Probably the specific combination of spices, but the overall effect is porky BBQ for me. And that’s not what I’m looking for in my Winter Warmer beers.
Jan 06, 2018
 
Rated: 3.84 by guzzleacoldone from Ohio

Dec 30, 2017
 
Rated: 3.9 by craftaholic from New York

Dec 25, 2017
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Reviewed by Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Teku glass.

Look is a dark brown with an off white head.

Aroma is of coffee malt and dark dried fruits.

Taste is a lot more of the spicing and more of that roast coffee.
Dec 25, 2017
Photo of PatrickCT
Reviewed by PatrickCT from Connecticut

3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Black body with a 1 finger off white head that dissipates in to a ring with a bit of spotty lace.
Roasted malts dominates the aroma with hits of warm milk and spices.
The malt flavors aren't as robust as the aroma would suggest, however, the overall taste is more complex. Roasted malts, chicory, strong coffee are raw spices are all there. Finishes with a nice nip of alcohol, even after sitting for a year.
Lighter body than one would expect. Medium body and carbonation.

It's a Christmas themed winter warmer with an elf on the label and I am drinking it on December 22nd. It does it's job.
Dec 22, 2017
Photo of Nephilium
Reviewed by Nephilium from Ohio

3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Rich spice aroma, with some hints of brown sugar. Pours an opaque black with a ring of light tan head. Moderate spice flavor, with some roasted notes, fades to an earthy bitter finish. Thin bodied, and fairly simple.
Dec 22, 2017
 
Rated: 3.58 by Bdel34 from Pennsylvania

Dec 22, 2017
 
Rated: 5 by Dapainter from Pennsylvania

Dec 17, 2017
 
Rated: 3.9 by thoglund from New York

Dec 09, 2017
 
Rated: 4.04 by outsider from Ohio

Dec 09, 2017
 
Rated: 3.98 by Mikecd234 from Michigan

Dec 03, 2017
 
Rated: 3.84 by AC-Mivsek from Ohio

Nov 05, 2017
 
Rated: 4 by Eammon1920 from Ohio

Oct 29, 2017
 
Rated: 4.9 by AndrewHeisler from West Virginia

Jul 15, 2017
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Rated by spinrsx from Canada (ON)

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Bottle from Wegmans Syracuse for around $3
Apr 18, 2017
 
Rated: 4 by atrocity from Virginia

Feb 28, 2017
 
Rated: 3.81 by RAFH from Michigan

Feb 23, 2017
 
Rated: 3.5 by AMCimpi from New York

Feb 22, 2017
 
Rated: 3.27 by Nunya from Ohio

Feb 20, 2017
Photo of beerguy04
Reviewed by beerguy04 from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Black in color with brown around the edges. Finger width of tan head. Smells of oatmeal and chocolate. Taste is similar, but with coffee added on the finish. Mouthfeel is heavy. Overall, really good beer.
Feb 11, 2017
 
Rated: 4.04 by mschrei from Illinois

Feb 01, 2017
 
Rated: 4 by VABA from Virginia

Jan 25, 2017
Photo of AdmiralOzone
Reviewed by AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Pours coca cola in color and thickness. Smells of all the regular Winter Warmer spices that I'm familiar with, but heavy on the clove. Flavor is cinnamon and cloves. Passable overall.
Jan 11, 2017
4 Elf from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 857 ratings