1. Don't miss FUNK Boston: A Wild & Sour Beer Fest on June 14 & 15!

4 Elf | Dark Horse Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
4 Elf4 Elf
BA SCORE
3.8/5
Very Good
849 Ratings
4 Elf4 Elf
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
darkhorsebrewery.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.75%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#22,897
Reviews:
212
Ratings:
849
pDev:
11.58%
 
 
Wants:
58
Gots:
167
Trade:
7
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 849 |  Reviews: 212
Reviews by Canada_Dan:
Photo of Canada_Dan
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours chestnut brown with a cream colored almost beige 3 finger head. Light accentuates cranberry hues around the sides of the body.

If there were a festive smelling beer, this is it. Cranberries, holly, nutmeg, pecans, cinnamon, gingerbread, Red Hots, peppermint, hot cocoa...there's no better smelling holiday beer, I guarantee you.

The flavor starts out slightly piney, but quickly develops into banana nut bread, gingerbread with red hots, prune, cinnamon, nutmeg, followed by slight baked brown sugar and molasses. It's just so incredibly festive I can't help but rate it so high.

Buzzing carbonation, alcohol heat, and a dry rubbed finish.

Overall, as a Christmas/Holiday ale, 4 Elf NAILS it. I mean just NAILS it. Nothing better captures the aromas, flavors, and warmth of the holidays. Best holiday beer, and beyond impressed.

 840 characters

Photo of majorbase2
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with a huge foamy off white head. Good retention. Leaves a lumpy, uneven head with spotty lacing.

Aroma is heavy on spices, ginger, molasses, graham cracker, cinnamon, and a hint of caramel. Very pleasant.

Tastes like a porter. Lightly roasted chocolate and nuts. Brown sugar. A small amount of hops. Gingerbread is still there, though not as strong. Very faint cinnamon. A little too heavy on the spice, though. There's really not much going on in the taste, unfortunately. It just kind of lacks character, if that makes sense. A little more hop bitterness than expected here.

Medium bodied. LIttle carbonation. More of a sipper at 8.75%.

Overall, started out with good potential, even after the first sip, but really faltered from there. Still a solid brew, but not DH's best, so don't go out of your way for this one.

 850 characters

Photo of oglmcdgl
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at hulmeville inn. In a pint, christ that way to big for this beer in july.

A- a good finger of tan head sits atop a deep dark red brown brew.

S- fall spice and roasty toasty malts. Lots of dark raisin bread with cinnamon brown sugar on top. Cloves and nutmeg.

T- like really good fruit cake. Dried candied fruits and fall spice. Cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg on top of sweet money bread with dried cranberries, cherries and candied walnuts.

M- nice feel on this one. Slightly less then mid in the body department and a bit higher in carb.

D- nicely drinkable for the style and I'm not usually a fan. I like this one though, and in fucking july. I bet I'd like it more in the right season. Ill say this there is no sign of the abv. Ill be sure to keep my eye out for more in the fall.

 800 characters

Photo of jwps214
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of gford217
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2009 vintage, poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark mahogany in the glass that shows deep copper when held up to light. There is a big creamy beige head that recedes to a small cap.

The aroma is very sweet but with lots of spices as well. There is an underlying brown sugar and molasses sweetness that has all kinds of different spices on top, especially nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin. Some milk chocolate in there as well maybe.

The taste is even spicier than the aroma with the pumpkin spices coming to the forefront - nutmeg, cinnamon and some ginger maybe. The caramel malt backbone and molasses are present but the spices are dominant on this one.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with smooth carbonation and definitely spicy in the finish.

This is an excellent spiced beer, very big for the style, almost reminds me of a pumpkin porter. Extremely tasty.

 873 characters

Photo of DruC4
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of broadway848
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of larbush
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of CreightonSM
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of JasonR1975
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of tykechandler
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never thought of trying this brew until it came to my attention especially being a Dark Horse fan. Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours roasty brown with a thin off-white head that recedes quite quickly. Aromas of nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, and some orange. Bit disappointed with the taste as it did not mirror the delicious aromatics as initially indicated. Flavors of dark fruit, indistinct spices- perhaps some nutmeg? Somewhat bittery back finish. As mysterious as the flavor is, I am at loss of how well hidden the high alochol is! Medium-bodied with nice carbonation throughout. As the beer warmed up a bit, the more I found myself to enjoy this one. I would gladly have this one again on a cold winter night.

 732 characters

Photo of Evarigan
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of tikk
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of zrab11
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of FrognutUnl
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - dark brown with an off-white head.
S - The nose is of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice with very little hop character to speak of.
T - Very similar to the nose with the addition of some chocolate malt. The alcohol begins to poke through as the glass warms.
M - Medium bodied.

Overall, this is what every winter warmer should be. Another hit from Darkhorse.

 362 characters

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Dark Horse 4 Elf Winter Ale

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Capital Brewery snifter. Served chilled.

A) Dark brown with a small off white head that dissipated quickly. Bit of a cola look...

S) I don't get much besides a variety of spices. I'd say it was heavy on the clove.

T) Again, heavy on the spices. Some sugary sweetness as it transitioned to room temp. The alcohol is very well hidden.

M) Medium body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is dominated by tingling spices start to finish.

O) I'm sure it's a well crafted brew, but the spice blend here was just not enjoyable for me. It was like my mouth was trapped in a candle shop.

 650 characters

Photo of marcb105
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Randalld for this extra

Pours hardly and light khaki head. Leaves some slight splattered lace. Color is a deep caramel brown, pretty much black.

Aroma: TONS of spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon, maple syrup, molasse, and brown sugar. Then I get some caramel notes and ginger in the background.

Taste: First reaction is wow. This is a beast. Tons of spices again. It has a lot stronger taste then one would assume from the aroma. All the same spice notes are here, along with caramel malt. A very big beer. I also get pumpkin which I thought was there, then drank more and realized it was pumpkin.

Mouthfeel: Spiced and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a lower level of carbonation. Ends with a ton of spice and it dry.

Overall, this is a massive beer for the style. I can't believe the abv on this beer. I am really glad I got to try it. It was a good experience. I think this is a one and done however.

 912 characters

Photo of kirkse
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of chrishiker1409
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Jwale73
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle shared with Thirstybird. Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights around the base. Head eventually dissipates into a thin band and a soapy skim. Nose expresses allspice, licorice and sassafras. Taste reveals chocolate, roast, spice, sassafras, licorice and slightly bitter, earthy hops. Mouthfeel is medium-light with an even, crisp carbonation. Complex and interesting with an amazingly well-hidden abv - I can hardly believe it comes in at 11.5%.

 460 characters

Photo of mklisz
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of heytomcat
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
4 Elf from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 849 ratings