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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: 1,772
Photo of Dalem
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pouring a very dark mahogany in color with all kinds of non-filtered sediment goodness floating around and a minimal head that's gone in seconds and lacing that is slight they're off to a good start to at least what yours truly looks for in this style. A sweet caramel & toffee scent are right up front. Yep! Big and malty! They are then complimented by some smokey and earthy undertones.
Whole lotta caramel flavor in the first sip with something like a dark roast coffee with a chocolate covered cherry soaking in it chaser right on directly behind it. There's a lot of fat end body in this brew so it coats as it goes down leaving a coffee/chocolate/cherry taste on the back of your mouth and a very warming sensation down the throat and through the body. Woo! Watch out though cuz a bit of a peppery alcohol bite snaps at you in it's finish. The sweet and bitter balances are full of all kinds of flavorful complexities.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep, dark roasted brown, with deep and dark, amber highlights. The beer is topped with a half inch of creamy, sandy white head that fades rather quickly and leaves little lacing. Maybe I should rinse out my glasses a bit more, but damn, I am cleaning these things as best I can: washing my hands with soap, then washing that off with salt then finally handwashing with baking soda, followed by a long rinse in hot water, really can't see a flaw in this system. Can recover some head with a swish or two of the glass, but still not much lacing to be had. Could be a result of the beer's size but still I'd like a little something.

S: Opens very peaty, earthy and with a mild smokiness. Given a bit more time to warm the aroma becomes much sweeter, but still does not lose much in the way of smokeiness. Nice malty caramel sweetness mixes well with the smoky aspects of this beer.

T/MF: Slight smokiness comes through quite quickly and moves on just as fast to a dark (slightly friuty) sweetness, while still maintaining those smokey edges. Mouthfeel is balanced nicely between chewy malt sweetness and tongue scathing hop bitterness. I should clarify, the hops are not neccessarily tongue scating, they can be felt more in the finish as they have a nice drying aspect on the tip and center of the tongue, otherwise this beer is defined by nice and chewy malt sweetness.

D: Damn good I would say, the mixture of sweetness and smokiness is something I have not encoutered very much in any beer, so any chance I get to experience this makes me happy. ABV on this is hidden quite well and the feel and body of this beer make it go down almost too fast. But I wish it just looked a bit nicer to round out the whole drinking experience.

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Photo of Yesac
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this on trade from jspruit - thanks!

A - Solid caramel brown in color, small white head that fades away.

S - Caramel, spice, and scotch

T - Sweet caramel, malts in the middle along with a hint of floral hops.. a subtle alcohol warming finish. The 9.75% well very well hidden.

M - Very smooth..

D - So smooth and extremely well balanced. Easy drinker..I'd have a couple

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Photo of JamesS
3.69/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark copper color with almost no head (very little for a few seconds) and no lacing. Wonderfully deep scent, very malty, very peaty, and very smoky; an excellent scotch ale aroma. Good taste, nice and malty at first, good smoke and peat tones, but with an odd bitter/hop finish, very strange for a scotch ale. It goes down fine, but a little thick compared to the taste with a hint of alcohol in it.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appears a dark brown with some ruby highlights and a half inch light tan head that quickly sinks down to a skim.

Aroma is very caramelly with lots of fruity notes including figs and plum.

Taste is similar, lots of caramel sweetness, a bit of earthy smokiness and a finish with some more sweetness and a bit of floral hops. Warming alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium, nice and soft.

Pretty good but it's just not all that interesting. I think I'm going to age the other two bottle I have left from the four pack.

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Photo of brdc
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks hoppymeal for this one; 2008.
Small capped bottle.

Poured into a snifter, dark brown, reddish highlights, thin light brown head, but lots of lacing.
Very pleasant aroma, sweet malts, lots of caramel, toffee, honey and some dark fruits, along with some unexpected bourbon notes.
Medium bodied, it is frequently caramel sweet, but the alcohol heat keeps coming back to the forefront, unpleasantly at times.
Good beer in general, but could use more body and less heat. I will keep my remaining bottles in the cellar for one extra year.

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Photo of pwoods
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle, purchased at West Side Liquor in West Harrison IN, poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep garnet, opaque. A short head forms a medium tan and holds for a bit. A bit of lacing.

S: Plenty of sweet. Caramel, toffee, chewy caramel candies, brittle, and some very light licorice. A bit of peaty, oaky, mossy scents as well as a touch of alcohol.

T/M: Much more rich than the nose suggests. Caramel and toffee take on a much more savor and rich sweetness with a bit of nutty brittle and an even more anise licorice. The peaty, smoky, oaky, and mossy flavors are there, not potent, but adding even more depth. The alcohol is a bit more present but not as much as I'd have thought with it being 9.75%... I was actually surprised when I looked at the ABV. AS it warms, more of the woody etc. flavors come out, as well as the alcohol, and play nicely together. Body is much too thin. Maybe even as bad as medium light but that's probably from low carbo that doesn't help with the body as all.

D: 9.75% is really gonna slow things down. A tasty sipper nonetheless, especially if you can get past the mouthfeel. Maybe the carbo was from a bad bottle?

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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 gordavidson
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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Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,772 ratings.
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