King Of The Forest | Dark Horse Brewing Company

15 Reviews
no score
Send samples
King Of The ForestKing Of The Forest

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by camil1mj on 12-11-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 98
Photo of jbwimer
2.49/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Just a mess of a beer. What a terrible idea. Nothing recognizable in the base beer. Some nice citrus notes here and there. However, mostly phenolic and tannic with overtones of nail polish remover.

 197 characters

Photo of Etan
3.27/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750ml into a snifter.

A. Black, no head.

S. Sweet acetic acid. Apple skin, vinegar. Ghost of coffee bean.

T. Mild roasted malt, vinegary acetic acid, sour plum. Very acetic with only a hint of the malt character.

M. Medium-bodied with almost no carbonation.

O. Not undrinkable, but a bit too much acetic acid at the expense of the base porter. Not something I'd have again.

 378 characters

Photo of Dope
2.19/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Completely flat dark brown pour. Obviously no head or lacing. Doubt this was intentional.

S: Intensely sour dark fruits aroma. A little roasted malt trying to peek through. A little nail polish remover in there.

T: Lots of tart dark fruits up front. Turns into kind of a chocolatey BOOM huge wave of mouth-puckering sourness all of the sudden. Very tart, very sour, pretty much obliterates anything else in the beer. Get a drying, leathery aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, very sour and very dry.

O: I had to pour this one out. It's like drinking fruit-flavored acetone mixed with some bile. No porter aspects to be found, this is a pure sour bomb.

 652 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.21/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This is an interesting beer, not my thing. I realize that they are trying to infect this beer to make it sour, but aspects of it just bring back bad memories of infected beers from the past! Thanks though to Mac from opening it up.

Pours a nice color, normal stout with some brown highlights, decent head not much lacing. The smell gives me problems, cause it has that medicinal burnt cherry strange strain of yeast infected aroma that is a red flag for infection in good beers, and it is hard to get past that for me. The has some decent licorice, cherry, tart flavors with a bit of roasted stout at the end. The tastes i can get behind, the smell is rough.

The feel is ok, hard to concentrate on that with everything else, but it has some decent carbo but sort of flat which is ok and medium in feel, a lingering sour flavor.

Weird brew.

 843 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for this one, Derek!

The beer is nearly flat and very dark brown in color. Intense vinegar aroma right away. There’s a little bit of acetone as well as a fair amount of booze. A slight sweetness of maple syrup and dark fruit (raisin, grape, and cherry). The acetone is nowhere near as noticeable on the palate, but the vinegar certainly is. A very tart combination of red wine and balsamic vinegars. Quite a bit of dark fruit flavor on the nose, some wood, and a bit of maple syrup.

 492 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is jet black, tan head, thin and bubbly. The nose is roasty, bit of alcohol, notes of tar, light cherry sweetness. The taste is very sweet, the malt roastiness is toned down big and the sweet cherry an tartness is very strong. The finish is a bit thin, light carbonation, semi dry finish, very slick on the tongue.

 319 characters

Photo of Sean9689
2.72/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sample at DLD 2012 out of a bottle. Not sure who to thank.

A - Pours a dark brown color with reddish hue, basically flat.

S - I get zero porter and mostly vinegar and apples. Not much else to say here besides "how you like dem apples?". Yeah, I'm lame.

T - Again, sour green apples, vinegar, maybe some oak. Not porter, no maple...maybe this was an experiment gone bad? Probably, but who knows. Alcohol is well-hidden, for one thing. Finish is apples and tart notes.

M - Medium body, flat, sweet finish.

O - Meh, I'd pass on this one if offered up again. Not my thing.

 573 characters

Photo of ehammond1
2.86/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for sharing, mrbubbler!

Dark brown with crimson edges without much visible carbonation. There's not much of a head and this doesn't leave much behind on the glass. Looks somewhat lifeless.

This beer has quite the strange and unique aroma. The first thing that jumps out at me is a distinct, juicy, cantaloupe aroma, paired with tart green apples, and some vinegar. I can't stop sniffing it, though I don't necessarily think it smells all that good, either. Strange. Extra points for uniqueness?

The cantaloupe found in the aroma doesn't present in flavor, though the tart green apples and acidic vinegar quality do. There's a moderate level of sourness, a touch of roast and chocolate, and funk. Again, this beer is probably more interesting than it is actually good.

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

One of the stranger brews I've had, and I'm very thankful I got to try this.

 907 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting courtesy of mrbubbler himself.

Pours a clear dark brown with no head and no lace. Smell is pretty interesting with aromas of sour green apples, banana, and vinegar. Taste is of green apples, vinegar, and some funky flavors. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but pretty weird for what it is.

 405 characters

Photo of zachary80
3.44/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Purchased at the December 2011 4Elf party. Cellared since purchase and refrigerated a couple hours before drinking.

Zero head on the poor. Dark brown body.

Strong fruity aroma, hard to describe. Similar to artificial sour apple flavors.

Very sour, delicious. Tart cherry. Wine character. Sour apple again.

Alcohol is very well hidden, I would never have guessed near ten, but I do sense it a little when I exhale. Medium body but zero carb.

This could be an excellent beer with some carbonation. This is the second bomber from 4Elf (2011) that was totally flat.

 566 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks for sharing! Snifter.

A: Near black with a fast fading beige head. Bubbles linger near the edges.

S: Blend of maple and bourbon with plum and grape. Moderately lactic with oak, vanilla, and chocolate. Green apple is pervasive.

T: Upper medium lactic sourness with a moderate acetic acidity. Green apple blends with caramel and chocolate. Dark fruits are present throughout: plum, prune, cherry, and grape. Much more sour than the nose suggests. Nice mixture of sweet and sour.

M: Upper medium in body with lower medium carbonation.

Overall: Surprisingly good. A strange mixture of elements but they work well together. Recommended.

 654 characters

Photo of SeaUrchin
4.65/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

tried it on tap at the 4elf party, but reviewing the bottle because i feel that i am in a better state of mind, poured into my duvel tulip

appearance - a darkish light brown, almost like a hard woood floor, minimal manilla head, moderate carbonation, head fades to a thin layer and left slight lacing on the glass, lets do this is my first thought

smell - sour apples up front,like a granny smith, then a deep and subtle roastyness with a bit of a woody/maple finish, my mouth is watering

taste - up front is a slightly tartness that dried out the mouth, next it would fade into a sweet/sour caramel apple with notes of extra vanilla, then faded into a roasty porter with dark fruits lingering, but then out of no where there is a sourness blending with the roastyness to create the desire to take another sip, in other words its like a candy apple sucker with a bit of maple syrup, and hints of dark fruits maybe currents and raisins, a simply amazing brew

mouthfeel - thick yet light, a heavy beer on the tongue but lightened by carbonation, like pouring sprite into a red wine

overall - amazing beer, want more of this and hope it hits a seasonal rotation

 1,163 characters

Photo of HosP
4.27/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the 4elf party at Dark Horse. Reviewed from my notes.

Poured dark brown, with minimal head to it. Some light around the edges. At first whiff I thought it smelled a little like paint! After taking my time to smell it, picked out some apple and caramel to it. Some sourness to the nose at the end.

The beer tasted amazing. Just like a candy caramel covered sour apple! I was ready to bet that they had actually poured the caramel apple alley that was on tap. After I was assured this was the right beer, enjoyed it immensely. Medium body to it with moderate carbonation. The acidity to it got to be a bit much on the throat towards the end.

Overall, loved the beer. Wish I would have bought some bottles though! Would love to drink it again, great beer to share with friends.

 792 characters

Photo of Jips
4.5/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I highly anticipated this beer since it was described as "a maple porter & on its journey through the wood it became King of the Forest" Oh boy, a maple'd, some manner of wood aged beer! I hoped it could be maple bourbon barrel aged like CBS, so I couldn't wait to try it.

Poured reddish brown into a clear plastic cup, served at the 4 Elf party, thin white head.

Smells like a caramelly, slightly roasted porter under overwhelming... sour apples!?

Thought it might be infected at first, but a pourer confirmed it was a "belgian sour." Great, I HATE sour beers. I figured I would drink some of my glass anyway, just to try something off-kilter from one of my favorite breweries.

Tasted much like an intentional sour would upfront: tart as all get out, not quite mouth puckering, and some slight funkiness. After the upfront sour onslaught comes the porter flavors: dark rock candy,very faint caramel, and just a hint of maple. Sour flavors stick on my tongue too, but underneath them are some dark malt flavors: burnt sugar, raisin, toffee.

Certainly had a higher carbonation level than any porter would, medium bodied (I guess resulting from the porter base).

Very different than my typical drinking preferences (stouts/bocks), but I enjoyed it anyway. This beer turned the corner for me on sour tasting beer. I've had Cantillions, Duchess, Petrus, many others at beer festivals, but never had one I really liked until this. Though the sour flavors dominate, I dig how the sweet flavors from the porter base contrast with them. It's like a darker candy form of sweettarts!

Also the label is CRAZY! Best and oddest art on a Dark Horse beer.

 1,649 characters

Photo of camil1mj
4.65/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap and bottled for the 4 Elf Party. Labeled as a Belgian sour.

A: A nice reddish brown with a white head.

S: Smells like a sour apple.

T: Tastes like the caramel covered candy apple suckers. Amazing. I double checked that this was not the Caramel Apple Alley.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: So good. Did not taste like a maple porter as was described before the event. Glad I got to the event early enough to get bottles of this.

 443 characters

King Of The Forest from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.5 out of 5 based on 98 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.