Scotty Karate Scotch Ale
Dark Horse Brewing Company

Scotty Karate Scotch AleScotty Karate Scotch Ale
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #22
Ranked #4,380
4.05 | pDev: 11.11%
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Scotty Karate Scotch AleScotty Karate Scotch Ale
Notes: For those of you who don’t know who “Scotty Karate” is… He is a local one man band who plays an amazing slurry of honky-tonk influenced, punk-country songs. (Check him out at A big bold musician deserves a big bold beer, that's why Scotty and our Scotch Ale are a perfect tribute to one another. Scotty Karate is brewed with cherry wood smoked malt instead of the traditional peat smoked malt offering up warming notes of coffee, caramel and sweet caramelized brown sugar. Scotty finishes earthy giving this beer a character all it's own, just like the man himself.
Reviews: 622 | Ratings: 1,864 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ThirstySavage:
Photo of ThirstySavage
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours off with a slightly syrupy look to it, thin but dense tiny bubble lace puts up a fight to stay alive. Be careful of the chunks of sediment at the bottom. Clear dark chestnut color. Smells of a freshly opened can of brown bread, bread crust and a faint animal feed maltiness. Hint of alcohol way back in the nose. Very creamy with a full body and light smoothness, just enough carbonation to get by and pick the beer up. Happy happy, joy joy ... what a malt bomb this is. Creamy bready malt flavor throughout, not overly sweet with a hint of caramel and bread crust. The is a minute vague fruitiness, all in all its hard to pinpoint which leads to a very clean alcohol and clean palate. Finishes malty sweet. And to think this coming in at 9.75% abv.

Very impressive, the cleanest Scotch Ale I have ever run into and dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Horse Scotty Karate


Poured into pint glass

A: Reddish brown not quite as dark as other Wee Heavy brew/Scottish Ales.

S: Meh' . . . not much really. Ok, but not inviting

T: Good, typical for style. Not bad at all but not mind blowing either

M: Smooth, like a light scotch ale

O: Enjoyable for sure. Not as flavorful or full bodied as I like in a scotch ale but it did the job on this cold, rainy, dreary Ohio day.

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Photo of zimm421
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a SA Perfect Pint glass. Appears a dark amber to brown color, with a thin tan head. A thin film was left after the head dissipated, with a ring around the edge. Some lacing is left behind as you drink.

The nose is deeply malty, with tons of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and dark fruits coming through. It's not overwhelming, but smells wonderful immediately after pouring. The taste follows suit, as expected, with loads of brown sugar and ripe dark fruits coming through. There's also a touch of smoke coming through, and it adds another wonderful level of complexity.

The mouthfeel is full to medium bodied, and sticky, with good levels of carbonation. This beer is very well made, and wonderfully deep. Very enjoyable to drink, and keeps you coming back for more. Even at nearly 10%, the alcohol is hidden, and it's very drinkable.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a very noticeable red hue.

Vanilla, caramel, earthy, and dark fruits.

Bready, slightly roasted notes, caramel, vanilla, and fruity esters.

Medium-heavy bodied, medium carbonation, sweet, sticky, smooth.

Overall, this one is up there in my favorites for this style.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear light mahogany, with a one finger head that displays good retention and leaves a number of lacing dots on the sides of the pint glass

Smell: Beyond the realm of the typical Wee Heavy, this beer has considerable fruit on the aroma, with berries, nectarine and pineapple front and center; also, the more expected caramel and peat aspects

Taste: Opens with a fruity aspect, with dark dried fruits and caramel flavor; the caramel builds by mid-palate, along with some peaty elements; after the swallow, the flavors mellow and there is a hint of citrus in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Certainly at the top of the Wee Heavy list in my book; adds some nice American elements to the style that make it eminently enjoyable

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Photo of wagenvolks
2.72/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to screach for leaving this one behind for me after a recent tasting.

Somewhat under-impressive appearance, with a thin auburn-ruby body capped by a listless head. The tan bubbles retreat to a thin ring around the edge of the tulip, while the center dissipates quickly. Nose, a little better. Dark Belgian fruits don't really belong in a Scotch Ale, but the notes of raisin, black cherry, fig, and orange peel are pleasing. Toffee and molasses malts make up the backbone, while traces of vanilla and bourbon waft about.

The taste of Scotty Karate struck me as bacon soaked in hop-flavored coffee. Unique, sure...creative, perhaps...but tasty? Not a chance. Charred, beefy malts fight with medicinal phenolics in the finish, flooding an otherwise pleasant chocolatey scotch malt profile. Pine sap bitterness on the end tastes out of place and overly-complex. At least the near 10% ABV is well-hidden. Mouthfeel is muddled and over-carbonated, giving it a thinner body than it should have. Juicy at times, crisp and dry at others. I'm normally a big fan of Dark Horse, but this beer is a hot mess. Avoid.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - 4 - Looks like a scotch ale! Nice copper color that is pretty clear with a tan head that leaves nice lacing. Bottle is really cool.
S - 3.75 - Little bit of peatiness, some bready malts, yeast smell.
T - 4.25 - Nice caramel, peat, bourbon flavors. Brown sugar, bread, cinammon. More of a sweet scotch ale rather than a strong one.
M - 4.25 - Nice feeling beer, medium mouth feel. alc covered completely. Aftertaste sweet bready malts.
O - 4.0 - It's a good beer. Not the best scotch ale or wee heavy out there, but it's good. A good Michigan beer.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

So I'm pretty stoked to review this. I've had a few different Dark Horse brews, but never written a review. This is however my first time having Scotty Karate.

12 oz brown bottle. Lovely bottle shape and the label is well.. Interesting. Some maniac who appears to think he's living during the Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock era.. Which isn't a bad thing! By any means. This is a colorful and catchy name, bottle, and label. And I have no doubt the quality is top notch. Funny how the best breweries get the label art right almost every time. This was poured into a stemmed tulip glass. Belgian style tulip.

A - pours a dark murky chestnut color. Brownish amber with sediment floating within. Head is pretty small and thin and the color of a light brown. Head basically vanishes to a tiny ring of lace leaving minimal stick.

S - dark fruit and a whiff of caramel malt up front. Tiny hints of milk chocolate with more dark fruit creeping up. A really nice dark fruity aroma with the alcohol doing its part.

T - more character than the nose. Dark fruit and caramel malt get things rolling with a sweet sugary note splashing the palate. Wow! Very nice. Peat and a touch of smoke highlight the flavor. Really surprised by the notes of peat this ale has. Alcohol isn't overpowering but definitely adds more to the dark fruit notes and a touch of Scotch spice. The smallest note of cocoa hits just before the malty finish.

M - nice texture and almost too easy to drink. Hardly believe its the abv it lists. Smooth and creamy feel with easy going down. Flavorful and enjoyable experience that even light weights can sip. But remember to read the label. It is nearly 10% abv.

O - not my first Dark Horse brew, but a very good one regardless. Well deserving of the first review from this Brewery. I'm actually more stoked I can get Dark Horse stuff in Ohio. One of those good moments discovering Dark Horse. Scotty Karate is a very good Scotch style ale. It has all the right juice to become someone's go to big beer. Very enjoyable and very well crafted. Scotty Karate is a must try and one to go back to every Autumn.

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Photo of ovaltine
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a rich brown color with a voluminous tan head - and floaties. A TON of floaties. I’ve never had a scotch ale with floaties, so I’m curious to see what is going on here.

Everything is copacetic - nose is big toffee and caramel notes, and that carries over to the taste, and the mouthfeel is on point. But those floaties - they’re freakin’ me out, man.

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Photo of c014572
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
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 devildogbrewing
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the first scotch ales I ever had. Will be purchasing this again soon!

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Photo of putnam
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Gingerbread, rootbeer and dark rum aromas join maraschino cherry and bitter almond. The liquid is brown with minimal accumulation of foam on top. A big mouthful of chewy oatmeal cookie flavor and Malmsey spiked with grappa. Raisins, sweet brown spices. Hard, sooty bitter tannins close the fruit exhibition and allow alcohol flavors to dominate. I might consider serving this with campfire roasted nuts and Maytag blue cheese for a rustic, drunken soiree.

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Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle for me purchased at Keg Liquors for me by a friend. Poured into a Bass pint glass.

A: I really like the nice dark brown color that shows a lot of red highlights when held up to the light. The problem is the dead pour that this one has. An aggressive poured resulted in essentially no head at all. What was there was around for seconds before disappearing. Gets an average score based on the nice color.

S: Nice rich caramel malt sweetness. Hints of dark fruit and a nice smoky hint as well. The aroma is like a malt bomb warning signal.

T: The nose did not lie. Huge rich malty flavor with a lingering sweetness that lasts after the finish. The mouth warms up from the alcohol as well. Dark fruity flavors and a smoked dark malts mix together nicely in this one.

M: Medium to full bodied feel. It is nice and smooth. I think I would prefer it if it had some more carbonation and was a little more creamy.

D: Although there is a bit of alcohol warmth, I wouldn't call it boozy at all. It goes down smooth and easy.

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Photo of CBlack85
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Scout11
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Ela
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cavemanlawyer1999
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Rogerlb
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love the artwork it's from a guest artist out of Austin, TX, what's better to represent that then a viking hat adorned fu manchu wearing one man band musician rocking out on the drums, guitar, and banjo with foot pedals intact for effects. Pours a murky dark cola amber brown with ruby highlights when held toward the light. Head was quickly dwindling highly carbonated fizzy sounding as it settled, kind of a turn off at first with minimal head left behind. Aroma has a caramel plum fruit and raisin infused booziness at first sniff. With my first sip in addition to caramel, plum, raisin and booze I get an oak barrel or tree bark bitterness with evident smoked malts gathering on the palate together a touch of whiskey and vanilla this is complex like some herbal tea with a whiskey chaser blended with birch syrup root beer if that makes sense at all. With my next few sips the smoke meat characteristic even jumps into the party I'm sure this may be peated malt at this point but it's really riding a wave with carbonation that is sharp but not too lively. Mouthfeel overall is a bit cloying for me, at this point the carbonation is sharp but not lively it kind of lands flat as soon as the initial harshness passes the palate, but a smoked meat syrup layer is left behind with some charred oak and minimal vanilla that bring the heat with it. Drinkability overall depends on what your into, me I'm having carbonation issues, but does that effect my experience as a whole. Final answer it has to because it effects the way that the other flavors are sensed on the palate. In this case I feel that smoked peated malt sensation overstays it's welcome yet makes the beer memorable in an extreme sort of way. Booze ridden for sure but this beer is going for all of that, I applaud the effort it was a fun experience but damn how many of these can or do I want to drink?

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Photo of beertunes
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a a dark reddish-brown with a slight trace of foam, not really head, that left no lacing.

The aroma was fairly benign, with traces of peat, maple syrup and brown sugar poking their noses out. On the tongue this beer really showed it's true colors. Gently assertive peat receives the most attention. After that there's a nice smokieness that goes well with the slightly grainy malt.

The body is full and smooth, it coats the tongue nicely with being sticky or heavy. Drinkability is very nice, I'd easily have several of these and this isn't my favorite style.

Overall, a very good beer that's worth seeking out.

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Photo of kegger22
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale was a medium brown with a one finger beige head that dissipated to a collar.

The aroma was sweet caramel malt and doughy.

The taste was malty sweet caramel, almost chewy. Scotty also has a nuttiness to its flavor and a definite alcohol presence.

The mouth feel was full bodied with modest carbonation.

Drinkability was good for an almost 10 ABV.

Not my favorite Scottish or Scotch ale, that would be Robert the Bruce, but this was very good and certainly worth having again.

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Photo of Internatbrewlove
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scotty Karate pour with a moderate tan head and a translucent dark brown body. The smell is simply caramel with a hint of coffee. The taste is lovely combination of caramel, mocha and a peaty overtone. There is a fine moderate carbonation that moderate to short in duration. The nearly 10% alcohol content is only minimally perceptible.

This is another outstanding beer by Dark Horse Brewing Company!

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Photo of TheStoutHound
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of ohiobeer29
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Basic scotch ale decent flavor for the price point a solid pick up but no where near backwoods or wulver

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Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1864 ratings