Scotty Karate Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Scotty Karate Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch AleScotty Karate Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale
Very Good
395 Ratings
Scotty Karate Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch AleScotty Karate Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 12-16-2015

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 395 |  Reviews: 103
Photo of woodychandler
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been on a barrel-aged kick recently as part of the eradication of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody. I know that there are naysayers who pooh-pooh the process as overrated & unnecessary, but I am not among them. I first got turned on to barrel-aged beers at the DC Chophouse almost twenty years ago & I still enjoy such beers.

From the Bottle: "Vintage 2018". There are vintages?!? OMFG!

I have come to embrace the Pop!ping of the cap, followed by a slow, gentle C-Line pour. It still manages to form a massive amount of head while allowing the lees to remain undisturbed. I was less successful than in the past as it did not form much head. Even an in-glass swirl did not raise quite a finger of fizzy, foamy, light-tan head with poor retention, quickly reverting to wisps. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had the pronounced malty sweetness of a Scotch Ale, but I was not getting the Bourbon Barrel Aging. Hmm. Mouthfeel was barely medium, thin for the style. The taste was definitely Scotch Ale, but I was not really getting much in the way of Bbl.-aging of any stripe. This was a real let-down after a week of really good barrel-aged beers. I wonder if it might improve with aging, but I already have so much in my cellar that I don't really feel like buying another bottle just to take that chance. It begs the question as to how much time it spent in the barrel. It does not seem to have taken on much in the way of Bourbon. Finish was semi-sweet & without a Bourbon presence, I would recommend sticking to regular Scotty Karate. YMMV.

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Photo of beersampler6
4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Amazing bourbon barrel-aged beer from a great local brewery. Nice deep brown color with some head and spotty lingering lacing. Smells very nice, with great malt, nutty, grain and bourbon aromas. Tastes of bourbon, wood, grain, malt, walnut nuttiness, caramel, vanilla and a little molasses and brown sugar. Nice smooth mild mouthfeel, just a tiny bit creamy. Good carbonation. Haven’t tried the normal, non-bourbon barrel aged version but will keep my eye out for it at the local stores.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, pours brown with yeast chunkies hanging in the balance and capped with a thinner tan head. Boozy aroma: bourbon, woody oak, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, grain, vanilla. Very sweet flavors with notes of caramel, toffee, earthy peat, grain, vanilla, brown sugar, boozy bourbon, and oak; quite complex. Full body, very boozy, finishes sweet with modest earthy bitterness. Good but not great. I wouldn't get this again.

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Photo of TheHopsman
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JDizzle
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Official_space_cadet
4.56/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On of my absolute favorites from scotch ales and eith it being burbon barrel aged (my favorite spirit. All around solid beer. Will by a 4 pack every time I see it..... original scotty karate is delicious as well. Cheers :)

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Photo of Raime
3.35/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Regular scotty karate remains one of my favorite scotch ales of all time so when I found a single of this I knew I had to have it.

Look - Murky brown with a two finger near mocha head. Carbonation appears to be quite high for what I expected.

Smell - You get that familiar nutty, caramel and chocolate presence that is present in the base beer. Nothing seems to change here and the bourbon barrell remains subdued and in the background for sure.

Taste - All the typical flavors including the nutty and caramel aspects are there but the barrel aging has not helped this beer at all. The back end is incredibly harsh and borderline tough to drink. Chokingly so.

Feel - Again the flavors retain but the back end is just a bit too harsh to compliment the overall experience of the beer. The bourbon almost seems Old Crow nature in harshness.

Overall - I can finish the beer but this is certainly a downgrade over base scotty. Tastes much the same in theory with a thicker and worse booze binding but has a single percentage of ABV over the base, but the background is difficult and the mouth feel is just plain out painful for what's offered. Toss this up there with backwoods bastard in terms of tough drinking scotch ales. Thought in my honest opinion this beats BWB since it is drinkable and not just plain scotch whiskey disguised as a beer. Yeah I just said that. -300 beer karma for me.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
2.63/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of DruC4
4.56/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Eddieeight
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This smells like pineapple and tastes like burnt caramel

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Photo of 94rocker1
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DIM
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Rich, decadent aroma of sweet raisins and toffee plus light, woody bourbon, mild chocolate, and warming booze. All of those pleasant elements are there up front on the palate. But the finish is a slightly unpleasant, dry, floral note which detracts from my overall enjoyment.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice scotch ale pours a dark
red tinged mahogany with a nice head of off white foam that settles
to a thick ring, thin light clumping pool, and showcases some nice light
lacing. Nose of brown sugars, toasted malts and peat smoked malts,
and rich boozy bourbon with vanilla most prominent. Flavors follow the
nose with aplomb; boozy oak ridden bourbon---heavy on the oak----mingles
with vanilla and rich brown sugars and smoked peat elements on the sides and
rear of the taste with dark raisin bread notes on the rear of the taste. Some
subtle grape skin hints touch the aftertaste with some warmth.
Nice mouth feel; medium body, warming, sweet, medium light
carbonation, and a warming faintly dry finish.

Overall a SOLID brew from a solid brewery.


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Photo of bschmidt_37
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Wolvmar
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Couldn’t find the bottled on date. Might have been May 2017 but not sure. Poured into a tulip glass.

Pour: reddish brown, some light comes through. Thin light tan head that dissipates into a ring. Very light lacing. Ok but nothing special.

Nose: might be the highlight. Dried fruit; raisins, dates, maybe a stewed prune. Brown sugar, sweet vanilla. Slight bourbon smell. Really up front but really enjoyable.

Taste: sweet is the overriding character. Dark fruits come through, sugar, caramel. Sweet malts, maybe some milk chocolate. Followed by some hoppy bitterness and alcohol. But very slight in both cases. I like it but it’s a little heavy on the sweetness relative to my expectations.

Mouthfeel: a bit thin but still satisfying. Fairly high carbonation that helps cut through the sweetness.

Overall: good but not great. less sweet and more viscosity would help. Lacks some complexity other than there being many kinds of sweetness. But, although it’s sweet, it’s not overdone, just dominates.

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Photo of Quackershnoc
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: deep, dark brown color; thin white head that dissipates completely

Aroma: sweet malt; raisin; dates; hints of oak, vanilla, and bourbon

Taste: starts with sweet caramel flavors; this intensifies through the middle where raisins and dates come in; carries through the finish as some of the oak and bourbon come through and ends with just a hint of vanilla

Mouthfeel: medium bodied; viscous; a bit creamy; noticable carbonation

Overall Impression: a fine offering, but I'm not sure that the bourbon barrel adds a lot; the original Scotty Karate is really nice

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Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bobstockwell
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly disappointed. Look dark brown hazy, smell nice. But had a strange sweet taste that I didn’t quite like. Feel was the big downer for me. Too thin for style and flavor. Was hoping for something comparable to my favorite hillbilly dirty old man “backwoods bastard”, but founders is still setting the standard for me

 327 characters

Photo of bbtkd
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Scottie Karate Scotch Ale, 9.75% ABV. Pours brown with a short off-white head. Nose is sweet moleasses and raisins, taste is slightly sweet raisin, slightly bitter, and slightly salty. Not picking up bourbon at all. OK mouthfeel, a bit over-carbonated. Overall very good.

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Photo of blissfulNemo
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cd34
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of LBThiele3382
2.95/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

$18 for a 4 pack? I’ll take Backwoods Bastard anyday. Very thin tasting. Not a lotta balls to this one. Smell was very good, but I did drink this too and it tasted weak. BB is much better. Just my opinion of course.

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Photo of SABERG
3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle dated 5/25/17 into the test glass
A - Black oak color, active carbonation moves top side to feed a thin off white cap.
S - Raisin syrup, a bit of toast malt, sweet vanilla note, and some evergreen in the nose
T - Malt forward, brown sugar and some dark bread elements, Barrel adds even more sweetness with a touch of toffee, and strong vanilla
M - A bit thin, sweet start cannot be overcome by the carbonation, the linger is semi dry and pleasant
O - A fine effort by the brewers, the barrel touch does not enhance this offering in my opinion.

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Photo of golf4collet
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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Scotty Karate Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 395 ratings