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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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very good
595 Reviews
Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch AleDark Horse Scotty 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: 595 | Ratings: 1,771
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.

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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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Photo of Czequershuus
2.98/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

This beer pours a rich dark brown with a miniscule head. The aromas of smoke, vanilla, dark chocolate, raisin, honey, and oak predominate. The flavor leads with a hershey's milk chocolate tone, followed by smoke, and a tiny bit of raisin and prune. The mouthfeel is medium rich, but a bit thin on the swallow. Overall this is a disappointing beer - something about the flavors just does not harmonize - there is too much of an odd smokey flavor, like burned white meat rather than wood smoke, and the kind of not-quite-real chocolate you get with a hershey's bar.

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Photo of ta_hagen
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

By far the best scotch ale on the market in my opinion... Medium body, smooth and medium/low carbonation. The alcohol is really well masked in this beer. A great Scotch Ale, and I love the label design to boot. Great dark fruit taste though with that toasted bread as well. Medium lite body but some what syrupy. Light carbonation. Full bodied, velvety, lip smacking sticky, and coats the mouth with scotch toffee with a lingering bitterness buried underneath. Another great job by Dark Horse... Thumbs up!!!

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle to tulip. Brown and sweet, with an aggressive pour, yields a few inches creamy, thick brownish head that doesn't last. No lacing, leaves the glass clean. Brown ale that's caramel sweet and a bit roasted bitter. Dry tea leaves on the tongue and a touch of booze. Creamy and sticky. Worth a pickup if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of mnredsoxfan69
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My first beer from Dark Horse, and it's not bad. It pours dark, slightly hazy, brown with a bubbly, tan head, about a finger and a half tall that quickly dissipates to a thin cap leaving no lacing behind. The aroma is lightly bready with a touch of caramel and some light roastiness. The flavor is a little more roasted and stronger caramel notes and little spicy hop bitterness. The almost ten percent alcohol is well hidden and the carbonation is lightly tingly on the tongue. Medium-full body. Overall, a good, but not great, American version of a wee heavy.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Pours a super dark, almost black color with a thin layer of head. No lacing. The aroma is dark fruits, earth, caramel malts, and a hint of coffee. The taste is some coffee and caramel malts followed by some figs and raisins. Earthy with some brown sugar towards the end. Bready, malty finish with sweet notes. Velvety but a bit on the lighter side. Overall, worth grabbing again.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brow with a slight head. Strong sweet dark fruit scents and some toasty breast scents. East going and not as fruity tasting as the smell. Great dark fruit taste though with that toasted bread as well. Medium lite body but some what syrupy. Light carb. Pretty damn good.

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Photo of BigRedDog
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark Amber/Brown. Minimal lacing.

Smell is caramel and bready malts. Slight smoky peat. Heavily malty but not too sweet and cloying. Dark stone fruit. Dates, raisins, plums.

Taste follows the nose. Caramel bready malts and some sweet candied date.

Mouthfeel is creamy but not overwhelming. Well balanced for the alcohol level.

Overall a great Scotch Ale. Very to style with some toasty qualities and some sweeter malty notes.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle. This fine scotch ale pours a dark and hazy mahogany with a moderate head of off white foam that settles to a thick ring, subtle thin layer, and spotty lacing. Nose of dark bread crust, brown sugars, figs, and earthy malts. Flavors surpass the nose with a warming brandy like character featuring hints of brown sugars, dates, and raisins on all sides. Warmth fades to the back with a rich fresh bread flavor that is moderately sweet without being overwhelming. Smooth mouth feel with nice carbonation makes this a great sipper with a sweet and subtly hopped aftertaste. Excellent.


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Photo of jzeilinger
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep burgundy color and the pour leaves a nice, thick ring of caramel colored lacing, carbonation is mild.

S - Earthy roasted toffee, molasses, dates, figs, brown sugar, and a touch of smokiness.

T - Toffee, scotch, figs, dates, prunes, and a nice smoky character that compliments the flavor and leaves a mild pine/citrus bittering at the very end.

M - Full bodied, velvety, lip smacking sticky, and coats the mouth with scotch toffee with a lingering bitterness buried underneath.

O - I expected this to be a booze bomb and it wasn't, in fact, the ABV was quite subdued and well hidden. I'm also not a fan of Scotch Ales but really enjoyed this beer. Nice job, Dark Horse!

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep yet translucent brown with nice finger worth of head that breaks leaving little behind. As the sun comes through it appears a bit more red.

S: Typical of most Scotch Ales I have had...heavy on the malts and molasses, with a nice balance of dark fruits (figs, raisins etc.) and licorice/anise.

T: Much of the nose carries through, especially the malts and the anise. There is a definite smokiness to this beer as well. A very nice balance of flavors.

M: Medium body, smooth and medium/low carbonation. The alcohol is really well masked in this beer.

O: A nice Scotch Ale, and I love the label design to boot. I think this one may have mellowed a little as it is a 2014 sample, but it is still quite a good beer.

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Photo of headbangingteacher
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, dark mahogany color with a thick, foamy two-finger head that dissipates slowly. On the nose you get the alcohol with some caramel toffee and heavy smoothness. The taste is a sweet malt with any hop element coming up front. I really enjoy this long seasonal, and even after its freshness has passed, interesting flavors remain with a seemingly heavier and lightening carbonation, meaning I enjoy keeping a bottle or two around for the winter months since the flavors are suitable.

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Photo of lastmango
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a root beer brown with a one finger white head that dissipates quickly. Slight malty nose but aroma is lacking. Bowled over with malt, brown sugar and some caramel. Not noticing the peat as others are. Medium feel and carbonation. Would prefer a bit more bite perhaps with a touch of oak.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.74/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, deep, dark, mahogany color with half of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with tons of toasted malt and dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes and figs. There’s also lots of brown sugar and toffee, and maybe hits of licorice and coffee. Rich and inviting.

Taste: Very nice, with strong flavors of toasted malt and brown sugar or dark molasses-like sweetness up front, followed by lots flavors of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes and figs. The flavor isn’t quite as rich as the beer’s aroma, rather it’s a little bright, but still very, very nice. Good beer!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth as silk, as there is very little in the way of carbonation. With an ABV of 9.75%, I’m really surprised at how well masked the alcohol is. There is none on the palate at all!

Overall: This is a really, really good Scotch ale! I’ll certainly get it again!

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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,771 ratings.
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