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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

very good
588 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
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Reviews: 588 | Ratings: 1,747
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: snifter. pours a murky light mahogany. nice dark khaki colored head. low retention level. decent ringlike lacing.

S: sweet malts, tons of caramel, some peat aromas, hint of bananas. strong esters of alcohol.

T: such a great balanced scotch ale. great rich malty flavors, but not too sweet. Banana and clove are present.

M: medium balanced. mild carbonation level. ridiculously smooth.

D: amazingly drinkable. so smooth for 9.75%. Top notch in my book.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.33/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- very dark brown with a few floaters in it. really not much to speak of as far as a head goes, but what little there is appears off white and is nothing more than a crown but clings to the sides pretty well.

S- pretty light smelling. no hint of alcohol, which i was surprised. mostly just earthy, peaty malt.

T- not much here either. very peaty and as soon as its down my throat all taste was gone.

M- pretty light and very very smooth. almost creamy

D- dark horse is great at hiding any taste of alcohol. this one doesnt seem to be a great example of the style, but the smoothness would make it easy to finish. watch out though, this one packs a punch. the bottle i got was from last year, the only way id give this one another chance was if it was very fresh. it just didnt do it for me

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with some ruby highlights Little to no head on the pour. Smell is caramelized malts and a bit boozy. Taste is more of the malts, a good amount of mustiness and a bit of alcohol/band aid showing up as well. Medium and nice mouthfeel. Another good offering from Dark Horse.

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Photo of DIM
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: This was a ruddy, chestnut brown. It poured with a thin, light tan head.

s: Nothing unexpected and this isn't all that complex. Just a lovely Scotch Ale that tastes of mildly warming sweet peaty malts with a little smoky toffee.

t: This is one of the bigger Wee Heavys I've tried. While it doesn't taste hot, It does have a warming feeling overall. Sweet flavors of peaty vanilla give way to a dry, flowery finish.

m: Soft foamy carbonation and a big body make this feel very creamy. A smoky sweet after taste lingers for a long while.

d: Thanks to joepais for the tasty extra. This wason my wants list just because of the name. This worked out well as this was extremely good.

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Photo of russpowell
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from czotch75, cheers Clint, this is my first beer from Dark Horse!

Pours an effervescent caramel with a finger of tan head. Good lacing, nice viscosity & above average head retention

S: Much smokeyness, some oak, & toffee

T: Smokeyness, toffee, oakyness & some leafy hops up front. Toffee, smokey oak & hickory with whispers of caramel as this warms. Finishes dry & oaky,with pecans & toffee; more malt base please!!! Almost pulled a 4.0

MF: Kind of wet, low carbonation, skews a bit malty, like it should

Drinks alright, hides the abv well, but a touch too dry

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Photo of HopDerek
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy brownish red color with the thinnest of tan head, ok lacing. Smells of toffee, caramel, brown sugar, grapes, milk chocolate, alcohol, and oranges. Tastes of raisins and other dark fruits up front followed by a touch of chocolate, then lots of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Finishes with a burst of citrus like oranges and pineapple as well as some booze. Medium full in body and low in carbonation. Chewy with a good variety of maltiness and some fruits to balance it out. Packing some good flavors, but also not skimping on the alcohol, not something I would want to drink if I don't have a lot of time to relax.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Murky rootbeer/tootsie roll brown with a small one finger brown head. Some spotty lace is left on the glass.

S - Whipped chocolate mousse, heavy whipping cream, dark chocolate, and some nutty aromas mix to create a nose that might as well be rising off of a plate of assorted desserts. The sweet notes are held together by woody and nutty notes in addition to some really solid hoppage.

T - Oh crap...this is GOOD. Heavy on the sweetness and alcohol heat, this is like bottled decadence. Some peanut buttery nut flavors are in there, along with the soft milk chocolate and firm hay-like hops. Cinnamon Toast Crunch flavors are there too.

M - Full bodied and silky with some really well done smooth carbonation. Initially really creamy, it fades to a light alcohol warmth and silky chocolate residue....like after eating Hershey's bar.

D - I love the dessert like chocolate and cream notes, and the mouth feel is outstanding. A really well done brew, but I don't think that I could take more than one...it's a hair to sweet IMO.

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Photo of demitriustown
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle: Nice roasted malt notes, creamy, a slight hint of bourbon, gingerbread, light fruit and spiced consist the aroma. Pours a Coca-cola like carbonated clear dark amber with minimal tan head. Taste is the malt comes through on this one with some of the fruit intermingled. palate is quite carbonated on the tongue with it finishing almost dry. Overall, Quite and interesting brew I like it. I had the pleasure of meeting Scotty Karate during a television shoot. An interesting beer for an interesting guy. Cheers!

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Photo of Jwale73
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to iceicebaby for the opportunity to try this one. Served in my Delirium Tremens tulip. Poured an opaque currant. What little froth was evident from the pour quickly dispersed into an oily skim. Some watery lacing, but no adhesion. Nose is almost sickly sweet, with lots of toffee and malt, as well a hint of alcohol. Taste consistent with nose, as well as some dark fruit, a little chocolate and a mild peat-like quality. Mouthfeel is between medium-bodied and syrupy, with only the slightest bit of carbonation. Drinkability is somewhat limited. While the alcohol is well-hidden, the consistency and cloyingly sweet quality limits drinkability.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.09/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown in color with some red hues. Lot's of sediment floating around. I guess I should have been more careful with the pour. No head. This beer looks thick.
Nice earthy peppery aroma. Alcohol is also present in the smell.
Tons of toasted malt. In fact nothing else really shows through except a heavy booziness on the back end. This one packs a lot of punch.
Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with a lack of carbonation. It feels a bit flat.
The thick syrupy mouthfeel and booziness make this one a bit tough to finish.
This is a highly regarded beer from one of my favorite styles. I hope to revisit this one later and will update my review then.

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Photo of jmacdaddy2008
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one saved but couldn't wait.

brownish red with a light foam that poured thick and left a top coat after it settled

Has sweet smell, toffee and malt odors.

I really enjoyed this beer the first time I had it and don't remember it being this sweet. Maybe it was the excitement of never having tried a dark horse beer before.

I wondered if this would be better with age. After having it the second time it seems pretty well balanced, so I'll probably drink the rest soon.

All in all another good, drinkable beer by dark horse. As far as a scottish ale goes, the high alcohol is pretty well hidden but still could be considered a scotch ale.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a cloudy dark brown color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some toffee and caramel notes. Taste is a mix between some toffee and caramel malt with some quite sweet malt notes with some light dry hops. Body is quite full with some limited filtration and some good carbonation. Well done overall but I would have enjoyed it even more with some peat smoke malt notes.

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Photo of Pointman
4.61/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From the pour to the last drop, this is a quality Scottish Ale.

Poured into goblet. Ok pour, light head with the bubbles going non-stop, lt lacing. Nice reddish brown color with a slight creamy head. Slightly cloudy and a constant effervesence.

Nice malty nose.

Excellent malts, caramel and milk chocolate on the first taste with a strong dry finish. Not too much of an alcohol overtone, which is nice, too many Scottish Ales have an overbearing alcohol presence.

Overall, an excellent strong Scottish Ale.

Dark Horse is becoming one of my favorite brewers here in Michigan, and there is a lot of strong competition.

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Photo of westweasel
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

The appearance a dark amber and cloudy, with a few chunks on the bottom. There is also the thinest ring of beige bubbles around the edge. No lacing left along the glass.

The aroma contains caramel, milk-chocolate fudge, and a little bit of raisin. The taste is filled with caramel mostly, along with that milk-chocolate fudge, and toffee. There is a notable bitterness in the finish that lingers. Following the style there is no hop flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium-to-full with moderate carbonation.

This is a very drinkable Wee Heavy. One of the better ones I've had of which I could drink a significant amount.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
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 ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a medium brown body with a thin, beige head.

Smell: Rich caramel maltiness with an intensely bready scent, akin to a fresh-baked loaf of multi-grain bread. Notes of dehydrated fruit chunks, some wood, and a lil' peat.

Taste: Dark caramel maltiness, a taste of sweet sugar. Then, you get your face smooshed into that loaf of bread. Slight peat character. Dried apricots and cherries. Medium earthy bitterness. Drying, wood-hinted finish.

Mouthfeel: A hair above medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Plenty tasty! I certainly wouldn't hesitate to have another.

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4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This sits on the murky side of translucent, pancake syrup brown with minimal head.
The smell is of those packaged honey-buns, drizzled with bourbon and a splash of malibu, with a suggestion of a cigar lounge ashtray.
Begins with a big blast of caramel and Bacardi. THat booze is known yet not at all hot. It then succumbs to tasting just like the smell. Which is pretty fucking nice for a change. SOme notions of pipe tobacco and grapes on their way to being raisins surface for brief moments.
Mouthfeel is somewhat dirty and gritted which is what you want.
As far as drinkability goes, the 9.75%abv keept under control, but is not hidden, which is fitting if you've ever met Scotty. That said, this probably isn't your 9am beer. But today, it is mine, suckas.

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Photo of david131
2.68/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Dark brown in color, almost murky with some floaters drifting about in the thick looking liquid. The head is small and white and settles to a semi-top covering sheet.

S- Well... this smells like booze. Once I got past the nostril burn, I picked up some caramel, cinnamon, and earthy malted milk balls. This would be spectacular if I could get past the alcohol wall.

T- The alcohol is very noticeable at first, and takes some getting used to. The rest of the flavors are carmely, peaty, smoky, chocolaty, and hints of cinnamon to boot. I was really torn with this... The booze is very distracting, but the other flavors are complex and somewhat tasty. It got better as I worked my way through it.

M- A little thin and slightly harsh in the aftertaste. I can't believe for a beer this dark and heavy it can't hide the 9.75%. Overall it is surprisingly smooth though.

D- Damn. I had high hopes for this, but the alcohol is a beast. I don't foresee myself getting this harsh mistress again.

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Photo of Jason
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
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 tmitch75
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Newly available in Chicago (I've been waiting for this brewery for quite some time). Purchased in a four-pack at Binny's in Buffalo Grove.

Pours a beautiful brown color with a little burnt orange glow under the light.

Sweet and roasty smell. It also smells thick.

Tastes caramelly with a roasty and peaty flavor. Tastes delicious.

Thick, full body. Almost like a milkshake. Excellent mouthfeel.

This is an awesome beer. I love the style and this beer is everything I love about it. Simply a great beer.

Tasted on 2/25/08.

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Photo of blakesell
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Gravity Head '08 in New Albany, IN. Poured from the tap handle into a 10oz glass.

Appearance- Beer pours maple syrup dark with no real head at all. Clear with slight bubbles on the sides. Some clear oil slick coating over the top. I have no idea what that is.

Smell- Smokey and thick with malt. No hops. Peppery, cinnamon sugar and maple. What the hell? This thing smells funny, not like a scotch ale at all, just funny. Earthy and peaty as well, so I guess it has some scotch ale traits, but not like would be expected with all these other flavours in here.

Taste- Pepper comes through on into the taste. Malty and thick just like the nose suggested. A slight sourness that is entirely welcome to me. Smokiness and peat malt comes through on the swallow.

Mouthfeel- Not as thick as would be expected. I wonder if that strange oil slick over the top has something to do with that. Oily, medium bodied and not highly carbonated.

Drinkability- Good drinkability, not warming, smooth and unique. Another all day pounding delicious animal of a beer.

 1,061 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rich O's Gravity Head '08:

As fine a Scottish Ale as I've ever tried. Strong and steady on all fronts. Sweet and peaty with herbal hop character and a complex malt meaty character. The texture is a bit less syrupy than big malty Scottish Ales, but sweetened more and makes it more drinkable. A little cleaner in the flavor than most, and less dirty or smoky. The 9%+ alcohol is hardly noticed, hidden well. A stern copper / ruby hue with fair coabonation / head retention. Spicy and sweet throughout. Deserving of better scores than most BA's have given.

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Photo of drpimento
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

overall a pretty damn good pow beer. Except for the initial quick flash of a weird flavor itsa superb scotch ale. Nice small head with good lace. Hazy dark brown almost opaque color. Peatish characteristics. Hints of booze. No hop. Estery malty finish. Rich body.

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

Cloudy mud puddle brown with an orange haze, and no real attempt at a cap.

Sweet caramel and toffee aroma. Musty, smoky and earthy as well.

Heavy and flat without much carbonation. The taste is much the same as the smell. Some sweet and bitter caramel and toffee. A light amount of funky sourness bridges the gap between sweetness and musty, smoky, earthy bitterness.

I was not too impressed with this one after my first bottle. I am kind of hoping it went bad somewhere down the line.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 2-8-08

Pours a meaty and yeasty deep red/brown, with lots of little floaters. No head, no lacing.

Smell is big, sour fruit, apple cider, with a malty, peaty background. Very complex, very earthy. Outstanding.

Taste is super sweet, fruity, but with a huge peaty bitterness. Very dirty and very intense. The alcohol adds a slickness to the finish, which is woody and smoky.

Mouthfeel is different, almost no carbonation, very thick and viscous.

Drinkability is not so good, heavy sweetness and big alcohol.

Overall, the most intense Scotch ale I've had. Good, but only if you're in the mood.

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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 588 ratings.
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