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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

very good
589 Reviews
Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch AleDark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 589 | Ratings: 1,748
Photo of SackBlabbath
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Not going to get into detail, but this is by far the smoothest scotch ale I've ever had, and one of the best apart from Backwoods Bastard, but that's a completely different animal.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.21/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a MD snifter

A: Muddled dark brown with a little bit of head, no lacing and no collar.
S: Extremely light, with nothing really standing out. Just a tad of sweet malt.
T: Light on the scotch and flavor. It seems age does not agree with this one. Just a one note type of beer here.
M: Just the faintest tickling of carbonation.
O: I don't really get anything out of this beer. That being said, I did let it warm up for an hour after I opened it. But I did it in the bottle with a wine stopper, however, I did have to pour the beer back into the bottle.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours dark mahogany with a thin off-white head that slowly turns into a frothy lace and a few floating specks.
Caramel and toffee splashed with alcohol, somewhat close to bourbon. Plum jelly, some raisin, sweet nut, buttered toast, faint chocolate. All right.
Caramel, toffee and single malt spirit up front, like a mix of scotch and bourbon. A smokey note, faintly peaty. Raisin, fig, some date, plum and faint blueberry, with a mild jam sweetness. Toasted malt, some butterscotch, brown sugar rock candy, faint toasted chestnut. Finishes with that "spicy, grainy" scotch dry feel and a minimum of bittering hop.
Nice body, a bit sticky and palate-coating, smooth carbonation. Aftertaste has a lot of caramel, a bit of toast, even less dark fruit, but a bit of slightly mouth-numbing alcohol.
A big scotch ale that's a bit linear, i guess almost boring for some, but it was tasty enough for me. Still, not a direct contender with the traditional heavies.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. Freshness date is smeared: ?/10/14

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small center patch of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Very unique heavy toasted malt aroma that actually reminds me of boiling wort, so it's a bit sweet. Slight alcohol tinge plus some dark bread and caramel.

T- Has that charry, smoky Scotch ale flavor but it's much more approachable than others I've had. Moderate bitterness and a little sweetness too. Alcohol is extremely well masked.

M- Slightly slick with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Props to Dark Horse. I don't normally like this style when it's done traditionally but this one is made as such and I really like it.

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Photo of Dogfishnoggen
4/5  rDev +0.3%

hides the EtOH quite well, but no dominant flavor profile, that is, nothing sticks out as far as an amazing flavor. Perhaps a bit sweet but certainly not syrupy. overall, good, but not great.

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Photo of delta490
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clouded deep ruddy brown. There is a thin tan head that dissipates almost immediately. A slight hint of lacing. The aroma is lighter, with some deep roasted malt tones and caramel. The taste really takes the malt and runs with it. There is a great big malt hit, followed by some smoked notes and a little bit of fruit. The body has a nice thickness and a little carbonation.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark reddish-brown with a one-finger off-white creamy head. Light sticky lacing.

S - Aroma of scotch, caramel malts, and dark fruits.

T - The flavor follows the nose. Sweet caramel malts and toffe upfront followed by scotch and some breadiness. The finish has some ripe dark fruits and some light booziness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very soft and creamy mouthfeel.

O - Very nice scotch ale and another strong beer from Dark Horse. Very smooth and drinkable especially at 9.75% ABV.

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Photo of ColdOneKev
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

A - Dark brown, highlights at the edge. Barely any head fades quickly, leaves no lacing.
S - Malt, peat
T - More malt, peat, vanilla, licorice, alcohol burn afterwards
M - Medium, low carb
O - I'm not a huge fan of scotch ales in general. Others have said this is a relatively low flavor scotch ale. So it appeals to me. Glad to have tried.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

12oz bottle from this years release into snifter glass

A- Dark redish-brown. thin ring of head around the enge
S- Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. Butterscotch and tons-o-sugar
T - Not as sweet as the nose, but still pretty sweet. Bit of a strange after taste... probably not going to finish 12 oz
M- Medium

O- Note really impressed for a scotch ale, sorry DH

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Photo of JohnSnowNW
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

I don't know exactly what to say about this beer, so I'll just focus on the important bits.

S: Caramel and dark fruit, but also raw wort (sweet and grainy).

T: Follows the nose, caramel sweetness, dark fruit, raw wort, and more bitterness than the other offerings I've had of the style.

This is an odd one, I homebrew so I'm used to tasting wort before fermentation, and this is very reminiscent. Almost as though they blended this beer with raw wort, odd.

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Photo of richj1970
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark mahogany brown with one finger white head and no lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar.

T: Sweet caramel mixed with cinnamon and brown sugar. Toasted bread.

M: Medium body with a slightly sweet finish.

O: Easy drinking and enjoyable, but nothing crazy outstanding about this one.

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Photo of pagriley
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz poured into pint

A - standard pour produced a 2 finger pale cream head that dissipated quickly and left heavy lacing. Deep ruddy brown - almost opaque until held up to the light and then rust tones. Light cascade of carbonation with thick oily legs
S - Heavy malts with thick dried fruits and a very typical to the style hint of sharpness from the yeast
T - More dried fruit tones with rich malt backbone. A surprisingly bitter finish for the style - I mean it isn't bitter or hoppy by any stretch of the imagination, but there is an astringency on the finish that balances nicely with the sweetness. Definite overtones of booze - you can tell this is a big boy
M - Rich creamy malts - bring a spoon for this one it is thick!

O - Not my favorite big scotch ale but awfully close and very easily available throughout the fall and winter -
For the price this is an absolute no brainer if you like scotch ales

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Finally getting around to trying this Scotch ale offering from Dark Horse Brewing Co., gifted to me from a friend.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a dark murky mahogany colored body. Some fine sediment visible in the glass. One finger of frothy tan foam that goes down quick. Leaves behind some thick scattered lacing. Looks good for what it is.

S - The aroma is pleasant enough for what it is. Creamy, malty, nutty, some sweetened cookie dough-esque aromas, notes of brown sugar.

T - Taste follows the nose - malty, nutty, creamy, brown sugary. Slight notes of roastiness.

M - The feel is smooth & creamy. Easy drinking for the high 9.75% abv. Medium-bodied with good carbonation.

Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale -----4/5.

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Photo of maxcoinage
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%

A Bottle to DFH signature glass, 2 finger head. dark brown beer

S caramel, bread, some peat

T starts off with malty sweetness, a bit of smoke in there, caramel, some darjpk fruit

M good carb. Medium body smooth.

O great scotch ale can't believe this is almost 10%. Dirty bastard is still my fave but this is up there

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Photo of beerdedking
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Well balanced Scotch Ale. Not a ton going on in the nose, and not the thickest of heads, but the
flavors of caramel, grape/black cherry, and peat all play amongst each other with out one dominating
the profile. Nice to sip, but not overly heavy for the ABV. Goes down smoothly. Would drink again...

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Photo of Trooper92292
4.61/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I let this beer age for 6 months and after the long wait I finally had it. Worth the wait. So much better aged. It's really smooth and just tastes fantastic. Beautiful color and just fantastic finish. Buy a pack and let it age for 6-8 months.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Appearance - dark mahogany color with slight tan head

Smell - raisins, prunes, plums, toffee

Taste - much like the aroma - raisins, prunes, toffee, plums

Mouthfeel - Medium plus body, medium carbonation, sweetness upfront, slight bitterness/astringency on the finish, booze is masked well for the most part

Overall - this is a great scotch ale that I'm glad is available in my market. It will be a staple in my fridge for when I have a craving for the style.

Price Point - $7.99/4pk 12 oz. bottles

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

Pours an opaque deep brown with a frothy, lingering khaki head.

Notes of treacle and toffee erupt from the glass, with dates and prunes adding complexity. Rum soaked raisins come to mind, along with a slightly savory, not quite soy character.

Flavor reveals brown sugar and caramel malt serving as the backbone, becoming nutty and toffee like in the slightly sweet finish. Underlying notes of muted prunes, raisins, and dates are welcome distractions from what could be slightly cloying malt sweetness. Cola characteristics emerge late.

Body is on the full side, with modest carbonation and moderate alcohol warmth.

Nice malt character, with a decent amount of estery complexity. Some may think this to be too sweet, but I enjoy it.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.32/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Nice clear ruby red - with light penetration. 1/2 a finger head last no time at all.

S: Slightly metallic smell.

T: Follows the nose up front - with a slight metallic taste. Booze in the mid palate and a slight scotch after taste. As it warms the alcohol tones down some and there are sweeter notes.

M: Medium body low carbonation.

O: I am a little disappointed. I wanted so much from this guy. But the nose was lacking and the taste hits with a lot of booze. It just feels unbalanced. I searched for a born on date - in hopes of bailing them out (like I got an old one) but I can't find it. As it warms there is additional sweetness which yanks some of the scores up out of the basement.

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Photo of lochef81
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This wonderful scotch ale pours a deep mahogany color with a small off white head that leaves generous lacing and thick legs. The nose is a rich bouquet of caramel malts, woodsy notes, smoke, and a hint of booze. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy; in the best opulently rich way. The flavor follows the nose with lots of sweet toffee malt, earthy peat, and gently warming alcohol. I'm a big fan of both Dark Horse and Scotch ales and this is one of my favorites. If they made a bba version, I'd be in heaven.

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Photo of Pencible
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: This poured a clear dark mahogany with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like earthy roasted barley and nutty malt, with some copper hops.
T: It tasted like pumpernickel bread and roasted barley and nutty malt, with some copper hops. It had a clean earthy aftertaste.
M: It was thick with moderate carbonation. Nice big body.
D: This was a nice beer with decent scent and fitting taste. The body was great, and the alcohol was well hidden. It had a smooth finish too, so it was easy to drink. Probably not for aging, and nothing unique or memorable fresh. But not bad either.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My original review stated I wasn't exactly sure what to look for in a Scotch Ale; I have a better idea now, but it's still not a familiar style.

A: cloudy amber-brown with good edging head and some lacing
S: couldn't get much, but what I hit was sort of like raisin bread. The smell made me think this beer would be one dimensional.
T/M: at nearly 10% I expected an alcohol taste, but it didn't hit me except subtly near the middle-end. The up front taste is similar to nose, muted raisin and nuts, more bitter than expected. I actually think it's strangely too AIPAish in feel. I almost want some more alcohol bite that bitterness.
O: hides the ABV well, and is (perhaps dangerously) drinkable. Perhaps also that's why I rated it lower, it doesn't seem to be indicative of what I think of the style (that I know less about than some).

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.63/5  rDev -9%
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 Billolick
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32 ounce growler filled at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY

Pours dark brown, medium khaki head, leaves low nicely developed lacing.

Nose is loaded with maple, caramel, toffee malts and a hint of smoke.

Full flavor scotch ale, with smooth waves of caramel, maple and again toffee. Simply delicious malty goodness. Full of flavor, but not overly sweet. Nicely done. Glad to get to try this one on draft

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Photo of brutusmuktuk
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle with a brown color and a very light white head. Has a scotch aroma. Taste is also strongly scotch and sweet. Has a nice full body flavor and goes down smooth. I enjoy scotch ales and this is a very enjoyable one. I also have to give kudos for such a cool and catchy name.

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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 589 ratings.
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