Scotty Karate Scotch Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

very good
598 Reviews
Scotty Karate Scotch AleScotty Karate Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.75%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Available September to March.

Added by ypsifly on 01-28-2006

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 598 | Ratings: 1,798
Photo of Rogerlb
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark cola brown from a 12oz bottle. Aroma is a carmalized malty/ raisin. Head is very slight, just a ring around the edge.

Taste is thin-bodied creamy caramel. Chocolate, drenched raisins. Hint of cinnamon. An alcohol sweet comes in but it's not really boozy, more like cheap bourbon. Maybe it's the hint of cinnamon that's giving me that. Bit of wood. Slight bitter on the back end, very much reminds me of a winter warmer with the fruity and slightly Belgian aspects.

9.75% is not really there at all. A little more candied than I might like but generally rich. The overall feel is a little thin but as a Scotch ale, quite good.

 638 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. It pours a dark cola color with a finger of eggshell-colored head and lacing. The smell is a nice blend of roasted malt, caramel, dark cherry or plum, and bourbon. The taste is similar to other high-end BA Scotch Ales such as Backwoods Bastard and Wulver but I think it's a little less sweet and a bit more bitter at the finish. You can taste the bourbon but it's by means hot. It has a creamy mouth feel with pleasant carbonation. The 9.75% ABV gives it a nice kick without being overpowering. Overall, it's well-crafted and enjoyable. I think it suffers a little by comparison to the aforementioned Backwoods Bastard and Wulver, but it's a very pleasant drinking Wee Heavy.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75


Bottle to snifter.
LOOK: dark brown, purplish hue, small white head that fades.
AROMA: grape, apple, a sour fruit salad.
TASTE: raisin, wood, sangria,
FEEL: full body, alcohol burn, light carbonation.

Good scotch ale. Sweet and tasty.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the usually-garish Dark Horse single serve. That's not a knock by the way. I love the crazy artwork these folks put on their bottles.

Pours a decent but quickly dissipating head, quickly giving way to a sticky lacing. Dark but translucent and clean.

Smells fabulous. Dark and sweet bread aromas but with more "grainy" than "malty" aroma.

Taste and Feel--If you want the perfect entry to the style this may be it. Not terribly complex, but it's "straight" and everything you want in a "wee heavy" and more. Malt, malt, and more malt on the front end, but there are smoky and fruity notes too, and just enough carbonation to keep this thing light. And the 9.75 ABV is barely there. Smooooth....

Overall--I've been harsh on some of Dark Horse's other offerings. This wee-heavy Scotch is a dead-on hit. If you are more a fan of the Belgian style, the malt-bomb approach of this Scotch Ale is for you.

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Photo of alarmclock314
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, no date. Pours transparent amber with a medium sized off-white head; some lacing. Smells of caramel, bready malts, peat, spice, and earthy hops. The taste follows exactly with bready malts, caramel, peat, hops, and spice; very pleasant and straightforward. Some sweetness and lingering dryness; quite earthy. The alcohol is well hidden. Above average body and average carbonation. Overall, this is straightforward and well done; a great example of a Scotch Ale.

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Photo of Johnny_456
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L- very dark brown with a little red coloring in the light. Off white head, little lacing.
S- caramel, dried dark fruit, sweet malt, fresh bread with hints of alcohol considering.
T- just like the smell, with a almost burnt sugar taste it's a good thing.
O- love this beer. It's rich, smooth, sweet and the right amount of bitter with a little smoke. It's a big ABV but the booze is hidden very well.
I drink this anytime I can, so go find it you will enjoy it.

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Photo of jp32
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky, auburn-brown color. Not a lot of head retention, but pretty good considering the style. Huge caramel malt aroma with notes of plums, cane syrup, and raisin bread in the background.

It's flavor is rich, sweet, and full of caramel malts. Reminds me of toasted raisin bread. Just a pinch of bitterness somewhere in the middle. Very smooth overall, and it's 9.7 abv is very well hidden. It's not warm at all.

In my opinion, this is one hell of a beer. Cheers and Enjoy!

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Photo of puboflyons
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on July 29, 2016.

The pour is reddish-amber with a short lived head. Good clarity.

The aroma brings out a Graham Cracker, vanilla, and sweet malt character. Booze is buried considering it is over 9%. Low to no hop profile. I kind of hoped for more of a peat moss character.

Light to medium body.

The taste tends to lean on the sweet malt side with a bread character too. The sweetness might be connected to the vanilla flavor that I also get. Again, no alcohol. Light lingering bitter finish.

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Photo of MNAle
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark, almost opaque color. 1/2 inch tan head recedes quickly leaving little/no lacing. Dark fruit aroma, smoaky, some chocolate or caramel perhaps. Thick mouth feel. Smooth and creamy. Dark fruit and sweet malts in the initial taste, with some very mild bitterness in the middle and aftertaste with an earthy finish. Overall, fruity, smoakey, mild and malty. Just the barest hint of booze.

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Photo of chinchill
3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a snifter.

Pours with a mahogany colored body and a very good tan head. Gunky sediment in the bottle with a bit in the glass too.

Nice caramel malt aroma and flavor. Well hidden alcohol: I was surprised to see 9.75% ABV listed.

Full body with a light touch of alcohol.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a thistle
No bottle date

A- pours a deep brown color with a 2-finger frothy off-white head that retains long after the pour, globs of protein floating around

S- smells of processed grains, caramel, toffee, brown bread crust, raisin & mash

T- roasted grains up front with a sweetness of caramel /toffee, along with hints of raisin and fig. Toasted bread crust mid-palate, crea,y sweet finish with more caramel on the linger

M- medium-Thick body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that turns into a chewy, velvety finish. Abv hidden very well

O- very drinkable, given the abv, but not as complex as some of the other scotch ales out there

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Photo of Jaypeajus
3.54/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bonus spoils of a trade, thanks noyoudidnt! Pours deep brownish red. No head. Not a ton of scotch on the nose. Malty, oaky. Tastes a bit like a scotch ale, pretty sweet, sticky lips. Full disclosure, my only other wee heavy is founders dirty bastard and sun king wee Mac. Feeling is not too boozy for a nearly 10% abv. Overall glad I got to try it, may try again if I could get a couple singles.

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Photo of avalon07
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a murky consistency. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted an average amount of time. Not much lacing.

S: The aroma was caramel, toffee, malt, and a grassy quality (not my favorite). A mixed bag.

T: Tasted of malt, a slight smokiness, toffee, a lot of caramel, a nice amount of hops presence, but a certain grassy quality that's inescapable (maybe I just imagined this). Usually in a scotch ale, the caramel is more at the forefront, but with this beer it's just not as powerful. Very uneven.

F: A decent amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This beer has it's good qualities, but is very much uneven. Could have been better.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours a dark cola brown body, two finger offwhite head, nice retention, bunch of lacing. Smells of leather, toffee, caramel, tapioca. Fairly malty. A bit of ground pepperiness to it as well, touch of earthiness. Flavour is similar, with a sweet toffee and tapioca flavour up front tempered by a bit of leathery bitterness, transitioning to more earth and bitterness on the backend. A very solid scotch ale profile, full of flavor and depth. Mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied, good carbonation, appropriate for the style. Mild earthy bitterness lingers on the finish until the next sip brings a new wave of malt. Solid scotch ale for sure.

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish brown, small beige head, no lacing. Aroma is big time smokey malt. This is not as sweet as most Scottish Ales, probably because it has a higher ABV. That being said, this goes down easily..

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Photo of tillmac62
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown that turns a hazy garnet under intense light. Below normal head volume, poor lacing and retention.

Very good nose of bready notes over caramel. Intensity is a bit light and fails to deliver the complexity needed for an outstanding aroma for this style. At room temperature, very light notes of dark fruit are present.

Light medium body that is smooth. Superb carbonation level that is matched very well for the body providing a palate tickling effervescent middle and a nice prickly burst in the finish.

The flavor profile is very good, but like the nose, it lacks complexity. Bready flavor with a bit of char permeates. The middle brings a light subtle bitterness that is very well balanced with a slightly burned sweet caramel note. Alcohol is completely covered, no small task for 9.75% ABV. The finish is a slow, slightly sweet, fade of bready (pumpernickel comes to mind) malts and a charred note.

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Photo of stingray
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temp.

L: Brownish red body, two fingers of tan head disappears after a few minutes. No lacing to speak of. Lots of sediment floating around the bottom of the glass.

S: Caramel and malt. A bit of spice.

T: Rich malty caramel with a bite. A bit of smokiness. Just what I want from the style. Some scotch ales too bland or one dimensional but this has a delightful complexity. Not cloyingly sweet which you might expect at nearly 10% ABV. Great with strong and smoky, tangy, spicy food.

F: A little thin but still creamy, with a surprising amount of carbonation.

O: Right there with AleSmith's Wee Heavy as my favorite (non bourbon barrel) scotch ales and a bargain at $8 for a 4-pack. Sneaks up on you at 9.75% ABV, I wish it were a bit lower so I could drink more of it. Would love to get my hands on a bourbon barrel version.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours - Deep plum color with thin tan head that lasts a good bit, some lacing.

Smell - I get a little sweet smell some caramel and toffee kind of faint I was hoping for a little more.

Taste - Very nice makes up for the weak smell with dark fruit, slight peat taste some toffee as well.

Feel - Medium body well carbonated and very smooth

Overall - A very nice scotch ale.

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Photo of c014572
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh my. Wonderful smell of warm bread and grains on opening. Pored a wonderful dark amber. Flavor was wonderful. Huge malt body with just enough hops to almost balance it out. Just what I love in this style. One of the best I've had.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Beautiful dark amber/copper colored beer with a light tan head. No lacing left behind.
S: Toffee, malty, sweet with an earthy aroma.
T: Smoky peat and chocolate up front followed by a pleasant toffee sweetness. Finishes with a nice faint piney hop bitterness.
F: Not quite medium bodied with a nice carbonation and a slightly dry finish.
O: Real nice beer that has an interesting play between the chocolate and smoky peat flavors.

 433 characters

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ok, this one is very surprising. Good looking beer, decent aroma, and outstanding taste, surprised me. Plus, it is very easy to drink and I was extremely surprised at the ABV. Overall this is an outstanding and extremely underrated Wee Heavy. I have no experience with Dark Horse but will explore then further.

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Photo of tlema1
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L; deep Amber with an tan head
S: malty, little sweetness
T: Carmely sweet, layered flavors, a little booze
F: medium body, decent mouthfeel
O: great scotch ale

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on-tap at Ye Olde Saloon in Royal Oak. I think it was five bucks for a 13oz-ish tulip. Getting this, I wasn't aware that it was nearly 10%... I thought it was about 7%. Looking back, I can see why I was hit so hard earlier. Phew.

Wish I had some notes, even though I just drank this a few hours ago. Basically, I find it a very nice beer, though overrated. The 96 rating from "The Bros" is ridiculous to me, but it's all subjective. I found this to be a letdown for a few reasons. First of all, it doesn't drink at all like a 10% which I guess has its pro's and con's ... in my opinion, more cons than pro's. It's not very "heavy" in the mouth, there's really not a lot of warmth, and there's not a lot of rich flavors coming out. I just have grown to expect a big, rich, sweet, boozy flavor from scotch ales, and this doesn't have it. This just has a very pleasant sweet malt and dark fruit flavor, but I didn't find it particularly memorable.

I'll try it again at some point, but I definitely wasn't blown away by it tonight.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

smells of rum with a little woodiness and booze, not much to the aroma really
taste and feel are a different story
rum and chocolaty goodness, very smooth, chalky and chewy/sticky
abv is only slightly detected
great beer overall

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From my craft beer expo notebook in 2014.

Look : 2 finger head, 90% opacity, brown walnut color.

Smell : Weak to medium strength bouquet; some faint acorn, barley...but overall pretty weak aroma.

Taste : This is better. A malty profile with yeast, scotch, peppercorn, and an alcohol burn on the finish.

Feel : Dry and wet simultaneously, bordering on medium bodied. Ends semi-dry.

Overall : A nice nutty, woody scotch ale. I'd have it again.

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Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,798 ratings.
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