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 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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Photo of GrahamDN
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber-to-brown with a light tan head that sticks around for a couple minutes, and hangs on to the walls of the glass. Tiny sediment throughout.

A pure peat note leads on the nose. It's not strong, really; just the first thing that takes shape. The peat emboldens a relatively understated malt profile showing toast and some dark fruit.

Well-controlled sweetness is staid on the palate, and gracefully evaporates on the finish. Rich malt, caramel, earthy-smoky peat, and dark fruit--and none overwhelming the others, but instead taking turns in the spotlight. Yum!

I'm not often taken by Scotch ales, but this is a notable exception. Will buy again.

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Photo of majorbase2
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a natural, earthy brown color with a large, cream colored foam head. Dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing. Appears to be a small amount of sediment.

Aroma is very sweet and can be detected from a foot away. Lots of sweetness. Roasted malts, sweet caramel malts lead the way upon closer inspection. Booze is there, but not overpowering.

Taste is sweet, sweet, sweet. Sweet caramel malt notes are fantastic. Some toffee and subtle chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar. SOme dark fruits on the back end. Very tasty.

Medium bodied. A bit sticky. Not as much of a sipper as you'd expect at this ABV.

Overall, a very good entry from DH and one of the better Scotch Ales I've head. Strongly recommend if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of ElevinoFive
4.87/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A pour emits Scotland's bold spirit. Chill, artistic, fa'sho- a very palatable unfiltered ale. Malty-martial arts that could provide a hearty folical boost.

September - March

STEAK TONIGHT! (or kale)

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

Good one!!!! Poured a dense mahogany brown into my Grape and Gourmet store tulip glass. Plenty of ruby highlights show throughout the glass. Big khaki head with nice level of carbonation. The carbonation and head die down fairly fast. Aroma is fairly strong, Caramel malt and toffee.

Taste is very good too. Toffee and sweet caramel malt up front with a touch of bitterness and some dry, biscuity malt in the finish.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth with a slight alcohol bite at the end. This is one of the better wee heavy beers I have tried.

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Photo of Bone53
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown pour with an amber tent when put up to the light; A finger of light beige head

Smell: caramel, toffee, slight dark fruit (figs), biscuits

Taste: Caramel and toffee upfront, perhaps the slightest hint of dark fruit if you search for it, a touch of spice, and a biscuity finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body, but a bit light for the style. Goes down easy for a 10 percenter however, with a moderately bitter finish

Overall: This is one of the better scotch ales iv tried. Its not as robust and viscous as Dirty Bastard, but its definitely a winner in my book, and i certainly recommend it. I imagine cellaring this beer would tone down the bitterness and blend the flavors more

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Photo of dmgeng
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was told by a friend of mine that this was the best beer that they had ever had so of course I was intrigued.

A - Rich copper color. Slightly murky with light eggshell head and decent lacing. Poured lighter than I was expecting.

S - A robust character with malt, caramel, and alcohol present. Smells like a Scottish beer but boozier and not as sweet.

T - Very similar to the smell with the malt, toffee, some dark fruit and alcohol. It acts like there is candi sugar/ brown sugar with a slight burnt sugar character and slightly watery character. With a lighter body and less maltiness than many wee heavies out there this is not the best flavor for the style. Not too much alcohol but it is definitely present.

M - Medium to light mouth-feel with light to moderate carbonation. It's definitely got some sort of sugar to both add to the burnt sugar flavor but also make the alcohol stand out and the body get thinner. Almost watery but still has some body this beer does leave something to be desired in this category.

Overall, a good tasting beer. I would prefer a heavier and more robust beer instead of a sugary, lighter, and boozier offering. It might be more stylist but I would rather trade the 1% ABV for more flavor and sweetness like in Old Chub or Dirty Bastard. I understand that drinkability is what the goal was for this beer and it does deliver on a high impact with lighter body but since I drink to take it all in and not to get drunk I would pass on this beer next time. I would recommend this if you prefer to drink to get drunk but don't like commercial american beers.

Glass- Snifter

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Photo of pat61
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle in a thistle glass.
A: Brilliant dark chestnut, 2” tan head that slowly descends producing whore stocking lace.
S: Spice, malt, no hops, dark sugars.
T: Spicy malt palate with hints of cola, alcohol and roast, light smoke and nuts.
M: Medium full body, medium carbonation.
O: An easy to drink Wee Heavy.

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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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