Dark Horse Amber Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

Dark Horse Amber AleDark Horse Amber Ale
Liked This Beer
3.46 w/ 441 ratings
Dark Horse Amber AleDark Horse Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 08-10-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 441 |  Reviews: 201
Photo of rxthree
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin but dense beige head that slowly died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lacing running down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of Belgian yeast in the nose along with notes of bananas and hints of spices.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a little bit of malty sweetness. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This isn't a bad beer, but it smelled and tasted completely different than what I was initially expecting; it is only an "amber ale" in the name and appearance. The aromas and flavors of bananas, sweetness and yeast seem to have more resemblance to a lighter version of a Belgian tripel. Nevertheless, it is definitely a unique beer.

 912 characters

Photo of ryanpj
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

5/5  rDev +44.5%

Photo of PhillyStyle
2.83/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

The beer appeared a clear amber color, which produced a two finger off-white head, but quickly dissolved and left no cap. The beer gave off a stronger than expect aroma, toasted malts, biscuit and slight hop. The taste followed the nose, but was perhaps a little lighter than expected, based on the nose. The beer had a light feel to it. It was crisp, clean and a well-balanced beer with good carbonation. Overall, this is one of the more average pale ales that I have tried.

 475 characters

Photo of Pat316
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of KCM
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.01/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a straight pint glass, color is copper to amber, translucent in appearance, somewhat dense looking; head is thin and presents about 1/4" thick, with an off white color.

Smell is strong from the caramel/toasted/biscuit malts, very pleasant and inviting, maybe some light spice character; bitterness subdued.

Taste follows suit, front character is toasty/caramel and biscuit malts; bitterness is there but subdued, hop flavors as well, mainly noble; light fruitiness and maybe a touch of chocolate is noted.

Mouthfeel is crisp and moderately balanced, maybe too much so in the carbonation/crispness, but there is a lingering sweetness that lightly balanced.

Overall, great tasting and smelling brew, like the characters and types of flavors presented, maybe a touch crisp/carbonated

 796 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Left Hand tulip. Pours out a light coppery color, slightly hazy, and with a thin head that quickly dissipates. Getting sweet toasted notes on the nose, some bready notes, and some fruit. Faint floral notes come forward as the beer warms a little.

Very light bodied with a rather thin feel. Taste is sweet and mild up front with nice fruity notes of marmalade and apricot. A faint hoppy, lemony spiciness at the back of the palate, but still pretty tame. Easy-drinking.

Overall, an average example of the style. Not really designed to blow anyone away or excite the palate too much, simply something to sip on and enjoy while relaxing and watching a ball game.

 689 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark Horse seems to borrow a few Belgian"esque" elements for their Amber Ale. With the balance that's exepcted from American amber ales, there seems to be a little of Ommegang's Rare Vos, Unibroue Maudite, and De Koninck in this beer.

As the beer opens with a hazy rust color, the red and brown tones project upon a yeast infused cloudiness. A creamy thin head rests atop the beer with a sheet of light tan foam. Solid lace decorates the glass in confident fashion. When considering an American amber ale, the beer may be a little murky, but for Belgian versions it seems alright.

Where the dialogue of malt and hops are expected, instead the aromas of caramel and biscuit coincide with twangy fruit notes and peppery spice from the yeast. Dry toast, nuts, white pepper, and orange peel create the complexities to ride along side of the malts for a very complex but very Belgian-influenced scent. I want to read elements of Belgian dubbel ales into the mix.

Flavors read much the same. The malty-rich taste is more starchy than sweet and ultimately turns creamy sweetness to dry toast and does so in a hurry. Tart with berry-like acidity, apple, figs and dates. Very complex in taste but the beer is effortless to drink because all of these differing tastes ride high but without the associated sweetness of their origins. Instead, the dry taste reels in a balance of fresh cracked peppercorn, celery seed, fenel, and light anise. Light in hop presence, the beer largely relies on these yeast-derived spices to carry the balance against the dry malt taste.

Medium light in body, the beer initially offers higher malt textures, but make a quick procession toward dryness as it crosses the tongue. The mid palate recognized the balance of spice, fruit, and malt and then the finish casts away the sweet malts and much of the fruit and favors alcohol spice, and peppery warmth to close.

Although the beer is admirable as a Belgian-style amber ale, it is largely mischaracterized both on this site and on its lable as an American amber that has a completely different profile. It took me more than a couple sips to come around the flavors in the glass in order to assess it properly.

 2,184 characters

Photo of tophers
3.01/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour quite cloudy (looks like my homebrew after first being kegged) with fairly decent head retention. Maybe it's so cloudy b/c of dry-hopping??

Aroma is of Belgian fruity esters - didn't expect that ! Has vanilla and nutmeg aroma too. Quite different for an Amber.

Very pronouced hop flavor with a moderate amount of bitterness. Picking up some of the Belgian yeast characteristics that I smelled in the aroma. Little bit grassy.

Moderately heavy in the mouth with a moderately dry finish.

This beer is definately not your typical American amber. It all blends together well, but not really to style.

 605 characters

Photo of ShaKeyJ
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of buddyvelt
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of BeerForHokie
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of JimGlonke
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of bluckbeyes
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of RblWthACoz
2.74/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

No. This isn't working for me. This beer tastes like something I really don't want to mention. With that in mind, this beer will never get beyond an "eh" rating. What ya gonna do. Maybe I got too much garlic on my breath or something. Just kidding. I know it's not my breath.

 275 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear amber red, some carbonation and a two finger head.

S-Caramel, honey, darker fruits, some banana even.

T-Caramel that is very unbalanced, very sugary as well. The banana notes are there but off/not balancing well. Not much bitterness.

M-Light and watery, not much carbonation.

O-As the beer warms it grows on me a little but it is still a bland beer, overly sweet and unbalanced.

 391 characters

Photo of gopens44
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of WesM63
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of KaisersDaughter
5/5  rDev +44.5%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy light gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades very quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of fruit and caramel. Then some breadiness comes in from a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, there are certainly a lot of other choices in the style that I would pick first.

 745 characters

Photo of drop6301
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mscott1975
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Dark Horse Amber Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 30.2% out of 100 with 441 ratings
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