Dark Horse 4 Elf | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Dark Horse 4 ElfDark Horse 4 Elf
BA SCORE
3.8/5
Very Good
844 Ratings
Dark Horse 4 ElfDark Horse 4 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by granger10 on 11-27-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#20,736
Reviews:
209
Ratings:
844
pDev:
11.58%
 
 
Wants:
57
Gots:
166
Trade:
7
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 844 |  Reviews: 209
Photo of kojevergas
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at a Whole Paycheck in Manhattan for something like $2.99 USD.

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz. Brown glass bottle. Pry-off crown cap. Artful label art with a red and white holiday theme.

8.75% ABV. "Winter warmer spiced ale." 36 IBU.

HEAD: ~3-4cm in height. Pale khaki colour. Nice even consistency with a nice thickness to it. Soft enough. ~8 minute retention. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque dark brown-black. Floating yeast particles are visible within.

Appears well-carbonated. Not unique or special, but generally appealing. Head retention is better than you might expect in an 8.75% ABV winter warmer.

AROMA: Whoa - big vivid spice presence redolent of nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar (not a spice, I know, but it fits into that schema), cardamom, vanillin, and clove. Vague dark malts (brown and schwarz, I guess?) lend this its backgrounded sweetness. Some raisin, maybe? Yeast profile is clean, not estery; I suspect an American ale strain instead of an English strain (to its detriment).

Aromatic intensity is average. I find no overt hop notes. No off-notes. Not boozy; the aroma suggests maybe a 5% ABV beer.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, nutmeg, cardamom, brown malts, schwarz malts, brown sugar. The marriage of spiciness to malts works well, but I'm missing yeasty complexities and any hop presence whatsoever. Some sprucey/evergreen-forward hops would be at home in this build.

ABV is well-disguised, but some alcohol warmth wouldn't be unwelcome, and might play to the clove-forward medicinal vibe nicely (think clovey hot whiskey on a snowy night).

Balanced but not perfectly dialed in. Texture suits the taste without really being in perfect harmony therewith. Medium-bodied, smooth, wet, slightly sticky, and unrefreshing, with moderate thickness and weight. A more gooey, soft, warm mouthfeel would better suit the spiciness of the flavour profile. This texture fails to elevate the beer as a whole or to accentuate specific flavours.

Average flavour duration and intensity.

OVERALL: A competent winter warmer with a nice spice profile and a well-hidden ABV, but little else. Discerning drinkers might find its relative simplicity underwhelming, and there's definitely room for improvement, but it's nice middle-of-the-road holiday season fare from a wonderful brewery. I'm glad I tried it once, and I'd probably buy a 4-pack if offered at better prices elsewhere in the U.S., but it wouldn't be a repeat purchase for me at the $2.99/bottle pricetag.

B- (3.33) / WORTHY

 2,528 characters

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

Photo of Calraven
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MI_beerdrinker
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Patches826
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Agentveba
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of red94tt
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tone77
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of spices, nutmeg in particular, roasted malts. Taste is roasted malts, spices, chocolate, tasty. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a good beer on this 40 degree night in late April in PA.

 282 characters

Photo of AleHunter805
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AD17
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

K

1 characters

Photo of diddy4l
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BLZR
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gvhockey
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of a77cj7
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Phoodcritic
2.83/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of Skellbop
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BEER88
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of JamieDuncan
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Jackalope1977
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of sposter4
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Almasi_
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

On tap.
Arrives a deep, dark brown, nearly black with virtually no head. No lacing to speak of.
Aroma is roasty: coffee and chocolate with a bit of nutmeg, tree nuts and cinnamon.
Tasty beer. Lots of chocolate goodness as well as those yummy holiday spices in just the right amount as well as a bit of fig and a bit of booze.
Mouthfeel is rather thin.
Nice holiday beer.

 371 characters

Photo of pstam87
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark Horse 4 Elf from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 844 ratings