Dark Horse Smells Like Weed IPA | Dark Horse Brewing Company

very good
14 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by akorsak on 07-19-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 66
Photo of tectactoe
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Ashley's in Westland for a Dark Horse tap takeover. Big and creamy, almost completely opaque copper body with no head, only a mild, beige collar at the edge of the glass. I'll attribute the poor head to the pour and not the beer itself, but it's pretty weak. Despite the sub-par foam, there are a few splotches of lacing left behind on the glass.

The aroma is certainly full of pines and some dank resins... sticky icky, if you catch my drift. Definitely a weed-ish aspect going on, but to be honest, I've have many more IPAs that smell more like *weed* than this one. I guess I was expecting full-force bud, given the name, but it just had a lot of oily, resinous, danky hops - nothing too out of the ordinary, here.

There was quite a bit of caramel malt in the aroma as well, something I'm not particularly fond of, usually because it means it's gonna be a sweet IPA. Thankfully, that doesn't seem like the case for this brew, as the first sip is a loaded hop assault... Pine, ripe grapefruit peel, hemp oil, and a dash of peppery floral notes. Some resin comes along with the pine, but again; "weed" wouldn't be the first thought in my head.

Back-end toffee and caramel-like malt help for balance and luckily avoid jumping the shark into overtly sweet DIPA territory. The balance is actually quite nice, with a hefty, oily and bitter hop attack up front, fading into a soft and mildly sweet finish. Medium bodied, thicker than a standard IPA, but not quite "thick" or chewy. Resinous, lightly sticky mouth feel with a low carbonation boil.

Pretty good, really, just not exactly as the name implies. There's definitely quite a bit of pine, hop oil, and some dank resins, but as I mentioned before, there are many other beers I've had that give off more of a pot vibe than this one, but they don't go around bragging about it in the name. Solid overall, but don't expect liquid ganga exactly.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smells like a safety meeting (formerly known as “Smells Like Pot” [aka “Smells like weed”!)

This pours the color of amber-yellow. Despite its (original) name it didn’t smell like weed. Smells like a safety meeting…

There’s a big, bold, upfront bitterness to it, with an orange-marmalade character followed by some grapefruit pith. Bitter finish.

For what I was expecting the aroma didn't match-- it wasn't a big dominant (pot) smell but more in line with the citrus and pine.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Changing from Smells Like "Weed" to Smells like "A Safety Meeting" is a clever way to bypass the legalities of getting this dank ale to market. But more importantly, getting the beer out of the brewpub and into the market is paramount- at any name!

Hazy and golden-copper, the ale pours with a creamy and frothy appearance predicated upon a rise of foam that caps the beer with a blanket and the retains the session throughout. Its lacing is concentric and reliable down to the last sip.

Believing the hype, the first whiff of the beer reminds the nose of the relationship between those delicate hop cones and the ripe buds of the cannabis plant. Earthy, pungent, grassy, chivy, cirusy, and catty- all of these seemingly unpleasantries tie together for an oddly compelling aroma that keeps the nose coming back to the beer. And the bridge that connects it all is the malty caramel scent that supports the hops and give the beer aromatic structure.

To taste, the beer starts with caramel, honey and soft grain. Its taste quickly introduces the citrus first, then the herbal botanical flavor, and quickly morphs into a pine-like resinous bitterness that keeps the beer crisp and dry. But all the while, the taste of white grapefruit, orange peels, and grassy flavors rise to give the bitterness a damp and dank character. But what can't go without mention is the role that alcohol plays in its taste- sharp and bitter it carries a solvent flavor that accents citrus but also detracts slightly from its cleanliness.

Feeling medium bodied on the mouth, the moderate residual sweetness left on the palate gives the beer a sweetened weight that evokes a sense of creaminess when combined with embedded carbonation. But after that bubbles subside and the sweetness fades, its the sharp and acidic citrus that takes hold and carries a drier, spicier and bitter-drying effect to the beer's finish. Mildly astringent with hop matter and alcohol, the beer finishes comfortably warm and with a slightly unsettled bite.

When the dust settles, the Imperial IPA turns out just fine. If you're opposed to the aroma and taste of marijuana (medicinal of course), the there's really no worry- the ale does demonstrate well its character but not any more than is demonstrated by earth-forward IPAs like Sierra Nevada Hoptimum or Great Lakes Erie Monster Ale.

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Photo of JDizzle
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at DH. Been wanting to try this for a while.

Pours really cloudy with a dull copper color. Great white head and lacing that hugs the glass the whole way down.

Smells like Weed doesnt smell like weed, but does smell really good. Getting a lot of citrus and pine. Like a bouquet of hops.

At 9%, it's very deceiving! I would've guessed 6%. A nice citrusy hop blast up front with a biscuity malt at the finish.

Syrupy with a mouth numbing effect. Bitter on the backend.

Glad I was able to try this one! DH never disappoints.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Dark Horse's Brew Pub in Marshall, MI...

A: Pours a translucent honey color with about one full finger of white head that leaves some solid lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: The nose is huge citrus. Oranges are the dominate scent, with lemon and grapefruit falling in behind. Aside from what the name may predict... this does not smell like weed, at least to me it doesn't.

T: The flavors are spot on from what the nose predicted. I get huge juicy orange, with some lemon and grapefruit in the background. It's sweet to start, but floral and bitter in the finish. It's just a ton of amazing citrus flavor. I'm really enjoying it.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's sweet and juicy at first sip, but the citrus comes on strong in the middle. The malt adds some body, making this beer nice and smooth. The finish had lingering grapefruit notes.

O: This beer is pretty damn good. I was going to order a second pint until I realized that this is a 9% beer. You could have fooled me. The alcohol is so well hidden that I wouldn't have placed this above 5.5%. Another great beer from Dark Horse.

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Photo of minterro
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes at Crunchy's in East Lansing

Fluffy white head. Tastes like a better version of founders devil dancer ever looks like it.

In my option it doesn’t that much like weed (wheres the skunk?), its very grassy. Lots of citrus and floral hops in the taste. Floral hops very prevalent in the nose. Sharp/numb carbonation, medium bodied.

Labeled at 9%. Pretty much straight hops in the taste, kinda boring. Some lacing is clinging. Ouite bitter in the finish.

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Photo of brew3crew
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the MI Summer Beer Festival

A-burnt orange. white head that quickly disapates

S-Wouldn't have guessed weed if I wasn't told it was. Not that this smell is this is an appealing smell

T-rich malty and hoppy. more of like a herby feel other than a citrus

M-medium body and smooth

O-Decent beer

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Michigan Brewer's Guild Summer Festival 2011.

This one was a burnt orange, approaching copper. The head was nice and sticky. It looked like it was trying to crawl out of the cup as it laced the sides.

The all important question, and the main reason to try this beer; does it smell like weed? Well, yes and no. I wouldn't have used weed or marijuana as the first descriptor, if at all if it weren't for the name of this beer. There are some dank, thick, herbal hoppy smells but it smells a lot like powerful Simcoe to me. It does, however make you think of dried herbs and green leafy stuff. Its actually a really nice smell.

Not as good as the aroma. The hoppiness didn't seem to translate into the taste in the same ways it came out in the aroma. But, this is still a hop bomb. The hop notes switch from dry, herbally stuff to more of a standard pine and citrus rind combo. The herbal goodness does build on the finish though.

This is a Dark Horse IPA alright. Plenty of oils and body. Its a sticky, oily, dank beer.

This is a good IPA and I'd like to see more of it. Its a perfect warm weather beer, as nothing here is burdensome. I couldn't help but to make comparisons to Columbus IPA. I think they are both full of Simcoe. Smells Like Weed is lighter on citrus though.

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Photo of BrainDad
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap right at Dark Horse. A pleasant find on a 90+ degree day.

Visually not as appealing. Turbidity like a wheat beer, hiding a rich coppery color.

The smell is very floral. Haven't had weed since college but don't think the smell is the same! Very nice aromas but still not this beers strong suit.

The flavor is the thing. Rich and malty, Carmel and syrup flavors abound while still embracing the balanced hop flavor. Well rounded with no bitterness. Belies the higher ABV as compared to Crooked Tree.

The syrupy mouthfeel really adds to the pleasure of drinking this beer.

Probably best as a sipping beer on a hot day. With food I would still prefer a Double Crooked Tree!

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Photo of sophisticated
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this from a cask at Crunchy's bar in East Lansing, MI. I did not find this very appealing, visually. I guess cask beers tend to be darker and flatter, but this looked like a super-murky dark apple cider. It did have a nice sudsy brown head and left moderate lacing.

The smell was surprisingly mild. Floral hops mostly...Pretty much like a standard IPA. Not weed.

The taste was great though. A solid IPA with strong citrus notes (mango and pineapple), a touch of caramel malts, strongly bitter hops, and an odd banana-funk flavor. I really liked the odd banana-funk flavor. I'm not sure how else to describe it.

Nice mouthfeel. Kinda thick and oily. Good drinkability. I do not know what the ABV% is, but I would guess (totally just a guess) between 7-8%. Noticeable, but not extreme. I enjoyed 2 pints and would try it again.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery for the crawfish boil.

A-pours a cloudy dark amber color with a very light tan colored head just a few shades from white.

S-the nose...hmmm...reminiscent of my college days. dank up front, notes of fruity pebbles, herbal grassy hops with much similarity to dried pot.

T-light caramel malt with toasted grains up front, sweet candied cereal, fruity pebbles. the hops are all over this beer, piney, herbal dank hops, very spicy and floral. moderate bitterness in the finish.

M-smooth up front, syrupy, grainy on the back of the tongue. prickly carbonation with a full body feel to it.

D-very tasty, very good IPA. inetersting hop flavors to be so dank with an assertive bitterness and decent malt base.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft sample at MBGF Summer 2009.

Poured hazy copper color with an average frothy off-white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate to heavy sour citrus hop, leaves and small malt aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

My expectations where met with a complex beer.

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Photo of aggiearcher13
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery on 7/17/09.

A: Pours a hazy orange-copper with quite a bit of frothy white head. Really good lacing.

S: Not like weed, nobody at the table thought so. I would say pine. Quite pungent, it really overpowers the malts.

T: Bitter, resiny, piney, not much malt is able to peak through the blast of hops.

M: Great body it, it's really a substantial brew.

D: This was highly drinkable. I had a couple pints and bought a growler, just an all-around great beer.

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Photo of akorsak
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at the brewpub.

A: The IPA is a copper colored wonder, fairly clear and topped off with a billowy white head. Decent lacing ensued.

S: The nose doesn't smell like weed but it is very grassy with a fragrant bop bitterness. Balance is thrown out the door; this is all IPA.

T: Ths hops are through the roof, dominating every aspect of the beer with a resiny, pine body. The flavor has a simcoe medicinal quality, deliciously strong and floral. Caramel malts serve as an afterthought and they aren't missed behind the hops. A hop lover's dream.

M: Hoppiness abounds but in a good way. This beer has a hop characteristic that rivals PtY. For real.

D: I stuck with one glass because DH was stop 2 of our 5 brewpub tour. I wish that I had filled a growler of it.

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Dark Horse Smells Like Weed IPA from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 66 ratings.
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