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Rod | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Very Good
70 Ratings

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Rod is a refreshing, medium bodied red ale brewed with aphrodisiac herbs for woman and men alike. Brewer Russ Beattie was working on his own version of Sex Panther, using passion flower, epimedium, damiana, and ginko to elevate the levels of spring time friskiness and brewmaster Aaron Morse decided that the best way to spread the love was via Rod.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 31
Reviews by prototypic:
Photo of prototypic
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rod arrived a really nice copper or amber color. There's a touch of haze, but not much. Crimson highlights are noted with backlighting. The top was covered with vanilla colored bubbles. They covered the surface, but that's about it. Lacing was a little sticky, but light overall.

The nose is pretty good. It could use a little more strength. There are some sweet caramel notes up front. Smells like bit of toasted malt is in there, as well. Hops emerge with a nice mix of floral and citrus notes. The citrus notes seem secondary, but definitely add some grapefruit and orange to the mix. The floral hops smell a little grassy and herbal. Alcohol is not noticeable.

The flavor kicks off with a blend of caramel and toasted malts. It falls on the sweet side, but it's not overly sweet or sugary. The hop profile is definitely interesting. I have no idea what specific hops were used. Their flavor is primarily herbal with a little grass and citrus grapefruit thrown in for good measure. It's a little bitter and dry, but the malts do a pretty nice job of balancing. The hop averse shouldn't be offended. Alcohol is masked very well. Finishes with a sweet, herbal, and bitter combo.

Rod has a light medium body. Carbonation seems light and restrained. Ultimately, it's smooth and easy drinking. I stopped at one pint, but could have easily (and happily) tackled a few more.

Rod is a pretty nice release from Dark Horse. For a hoppy Amber Ale, its flavor is rather unique. Herbal hops seem to lead the hop charge, and it works really well with the toasted malt presence. I generally prefer a stronger citrus flavor, but it wouldn't be as unique if that were the case here. Rod is definitely good stuff. I wouldn't mind seeing it in bottles. Check it out if you have the chance.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Union Ale House Weymouth--served into a pint glass

Appearance: moderate carbonation, minimal head, dark red- brown in color, cloudy

Smell: pine hops

Taste: caramel with big piney hops

Mouthfeel: sweet start with a bitter spike in the middle and a less bitter end, medium-high carbonation, medium-light body

Overall: Worth a try and above average for a red ale. Yet after a pint, I have no desire for another. I would not turn this down either.

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Photo of jsurfs82
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of barnzy78
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of waiting4lunch
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Dark Horse.

Pour brings a rusty caramel color with a bit of a head and not too much lacing. Nose is lift citrus and floral hops with a bit of earth.and malt. Taste is biscuity malt and mild hops. Decent bitterness in the feel. A pretty good beer all around, but not my favorite of the day.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured hazy brown color with an average frothy off-white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted malt, hoppy and herbs aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture. Medium to heavy bittersweet flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate duration. Interesting complex beer and I hope the stimulative factors do not work, I am traveling from home.

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Goblet (but actually closer to a Sniffer) at Stub and Herb. It's dark ruby amber color, really appealing. It has an off white head with decent retention and impressive lacing.

The aroma is quite good. I was expecting a more hoppy aroma, which this isn't, but it's still good. I get caramel and a tropical fruit that I can't put my finger on, but reminds me of apricots, but much more tropical, if that makes sense. More malty than hoppy, and a pleasant surprise.

You can definitely appreciate this hand crafted ale. Caramel malts and sweet and tart tropical fruits band together to form a very interesting and enticing brew. Good stuff. There is a slight bitterness, but this might be something that someone who hates "bitter" beers might even like.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but has a nice bite from the carbonation. Slight bitter aftertaste dukes it out with the juicy fruitiness. Drinkability is really high, this is some great stuff.

A couple notes. First, I remember the menu saying the ABV, but I didn't memorize it. I'm positive it is at least 6%+, probably more like 7%+.

Second, the menu labeled this as Dark Horse Rod "The Boner Ale." That cracked me up and I had to try it.

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Photo of stephensinner
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of jampics2
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the menu at Melt, listed as "name: Dark Horse Rod, style: Amber Sex Panther Ale". OK, I guess I'll still order it :D

Looks nice in the pint glass it is brought in. Amber color with a nice white head and good lacing.

Smells of slightly toasted malt, nice expressive perfume hops with touches of fresh flowers and citrus, and the crazy herbs add a layer of spice.

Taste is mostly that of a red ale with lots of hops. Some tropical notes and slight toasted malt, but mostly sweet and mildly bitter. The herbs add a layer that's almost tea-like. They aren't too prominent, and this is really pleasant, not distracting.

Mouthfeel is nice - medium body and good carbonation. Overall, this was good, but not too terribly intense for all the differences this tries to feature. I'd try it again, but I found it hard to make distinctions between the herbs and the hops. More or less, this came across as a hoppy red ale without anything super special.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On the menu at Melt, listed as "name: Dark Horse Rod, style: Amber Sex Panther Ale". OK, I guess I HAVE to order it.

Poured a nice dirty brown with off-white head. Ok retention and lacing, but nothing special. Smell is a bit of hops and a bit of malt, nothing too distinctive really. Not bad though, the hops show through in a more citrus light, whereas the malt is more rye-toast oriented. Taste follows suit, this is a hopped-up red. Some other flavor to it that I can't quite put my finger on. Herbal? Not bad, just different. Other flavors pop in and out--dark fruit, smoke, No. 2 pencil, etc. MF was decent, moderate body with decent carbonation. A good drink, I had two.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at WhirlyBall Vernon Hills.

No need for aphrodisiacs in the beer when you've got such an attractive and attentive (and knowledgeable) bartender. Quite. Anyway, this stuff pours a sunset ruby-amber topped by a half-finger of dirty ecru foam. The nose comprises caramel, very light roasted malts, very light cocoa powder, and orange zest. The taste brings in more of the same, though the roast and cocoa elements come off further blended into the surroundings, muting them slightly. Some flowers also find their way in their as well. Not bad, actually. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a nice brew, one you don't see every day, and one you're not gonna be too upset to see on any kind of regular basis.

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Photo of xnicknj
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%

Photo of beerwolf77
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Alchey in Madison.

A: Served in a pint glass filled completely to the top. Redish brown hue. No head no lace. I can't fault the beer for the head issues. After a couple sips lace rings remain around the glass so that's positive.

S: A solid dose of earthy hops and carmel malt. Maybe a touch of spice.

T: The hops give a nice citrus bite up front. Large amount of carmel malt smooths this one out. Nice spiced finsih.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

D: Overall a nice effort. Easy drinking and enough complex flavors to make me want another.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap in a pint glass at the brewpub on 7/21/12

A) Pours a dark, rusty/crimson brown; dense appearance. One half finger head thins to a soapy layer. Some drippy lace.

S) The aroma has strong notes of floral hops, sweet bread and caramel. Milder hop overtones of citrus and pine. Full, resinous aroma. Smells pretty good.

T) While exhibiting a balance in the aroma, the taste has much more focus on the hops here there is a showing of pine and citric pepperings. Toasted bread and caramel; somehow this beer manages to stay rather dry.

M) Medium-plus feel; it is resinous and oily. Puffy, rolling carbonation.

D) Overall, ROD is maltier than I prefer. That said, it has full flavor and is not lacking in feel. I appreciate that in the style.

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Photo of thomseye
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler I filled a Heinen's in Brecksville into a pint glass. Pours a cloudy tea color, very unfiltered, with a thin ivory colored head.

Has a roasted malt smell, with toffee notes. Starts malty, has a nice hoppy taste midway through, ending with fruity sweet. Toffee and caramel start it out, with grapes and apricot finishing it and a nice hop bitter chasing it. Medium bodied, with a bit of a sharp finish. This is a nice-tasting beer, and certainly one of the better amber ales I've had.

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Photo of LoRezDave
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Traditionally I'm not a "red" fan since they can get kinda sweet/malty for me. But I trust Dark Horse and gave it a whirl...

The pint-glass-beer was poured from a bar keg. Zero head....but I think that was by design by the barhand, no sweat.

The appearance is an opaque amber with a hint of red around the edges.

The smell is primary malt - definitely some roasted malt and possibly some rye malt (?) at the end of the nose.

Mouthfeel - slightly over carbonated, but it came from a bar keg so I won't let that reflect negatively. Full, slightly chewy in a pleasant way.

Taste - lots of malt. Toasted specialty malts keep it from being cloying. A slight spice in aftertaste.

Overall a great red ale. I'm not a big fan of reds but this one has changed my thinking of what reds should be.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tastes of rye and floral hints... Definitely a red ale in it's base... Not particularly unique but definitely a solid beer. The floral flavors are a bit overpowering. Well carbonated but not very drinkable. I sampled this at the catskeller as a 4 ounce pour and opted against a full glass...

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Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of abcramer
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Duff27
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of djmitche
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at local option here in Chicago - the best kept beer bar secret. The pour had a nice, persistent head that fell but continued to lace nicely. The aroma is mild, and only really appears after the beer warms. It's coffee and maybe cherry The flavor is nice: strong malt flavors but not sweet, with a nice hop backbone. The mouthfeel is what you want from a Dark Horse: chewy but not thick. Overall, this would make a great session beer, but it's not topping any of my "amazing beer" charts.

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Photo of jnowak
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

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Rod from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 70 ratings