Scotty Karate Scotch Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

very good
596 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: 596 | Ratings: 1,789
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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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish amber with a lot of rising bubbles. Small finger of off white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A toasty and roasty malt forward aroma with hints of caramel, biscuit, and chocolate. Toasted barley malt with hints of biscuit, caramel, toffee, chocolate, smoke, nuts, and yeast. Also some hints of leather, tobacco, and sweet molasses. Fruit hints of apple, fig, and prune. Also some spice hints of cinnamon. Subtle earthy hop scent. A pretty good malty aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a toasty and roasty malt forward taste with good notes of caramel, biscuit, and chocolate. Upfront bready toasted malt with notes of biscuit, caramel, toffee, chocolate, smoke, nuts, and yeast. Sweet taste of molasses and brown sugar. Also some notes of cinnamon, tobacco, leather, and peat. Fruit undertones of apple, fig, and prune. Light hop presence. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and pretty smooth with a fairly drying finish.

Overall: A very good take on a Scotch Ale. Good toasty and smokey malt flavors with some nice subtle fruit tones.

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

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, almost opaque, ruby-brown coloring with a halo of off-white head. Aromas of caramel sweetness, molasses, chocolate, earthy notes, a subtle booze character, sweet cream, and some vanilla. Smells big and rich! Flavors are sugary sweet and heavily roasted forward, with tangy caramel and sweet cream blending together over a boozy undertone. Highlights of chocolate and molasses dart in and out. There are also some notes of earth and floral highlights there to layer this beer a bit more. Roasted notes throughout, and the increased ABV is hidden very well in this beer. Full and robust in mouth, it remains smooth through to the finish. The aftertaste is rich and sweet, with all of the caramel, nut, and cream notes lingering on subtly. Very tasty beer.

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Photo of Slack
4.51/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bronze in color with about a finger of head. Aroma is dominated by malty sweetness. Am picking up a bit of red wine and earthy notes. Taste is malt, fruit, and peat with very subtle alcohol. Finish is residual sweetness. Mouthful is medium with a nice amount of carbonation and cream. Overall an excellent scotch ale which was very enjoyable and deserving of procuring more.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent bronze color with a modest head of khaki froth that soon dissipates into a veil of frogspawn. Mondo carbonation is just about everywhere. Aroma features tons of caramel, along with toasted bread and some cherry cough syrup.

The taste is bold, coming on sweet and alcoholic at once. The delightfully complex malt profile features caramel, raisins, grape must, candied plums, and brown sugar. Alcohol burn peaks toward the middle before yielding to a sweeter finish, yet still with traces of cough syrup. A palpable stickiness lingers on the lips between sips. A little too much warming and the sweetness becomes almost cloying. Medium body and vigorous carbonation yield a brisk, semi-creamy mouthfeel that’s basically a necessity to cut through the intense sweetness.

Overall, this a supremely flavorful and aggressive scotch ale. Its fruitiness reminds me of Skullsplitter, but more balanced and bolder. Scotty Karate is a testament to what a nuanced and complex style this can be when properly executed.

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Photo of Altrurian
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thin, evanescent head. Deep ruby hue. Aroma of dark dried fruit. Taste is an exemplar of the style, with a sweet fruitiness almost matched by darker malty elements. Creamy feel.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into nonic. Brown liquid with a two-finger tan head that settles to a collar. Aroma is bread, oak, malt, peat, and earth. Taste is sweet malts then leafy hop bitterness. Medium body, chewy texture, light side of medium carbonation, woody leafy drying finish.

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Quick review here --

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A - amber with tinges of red, cloudy, evanescent foam on the forced pour.

S - medium malty sweetness, medium hop aroma, higher peat content here, grassy hop profile.

T - high malt sweetness, caramel, burnt toast, medium-low bitterness. Hops are nearly gone, not sure how old this bottle is, but they've been replaced by high carbonated bitterness.

M - slightly acerbic, high carbonation, alcohol isn't a contributing factor to the astringency, despite the high content.

O - certainly a good beer, a good go-to for a higher alcohol scotch ale that's available pretty much everywhere year round.

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Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,789 ratings.
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