Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

very good
442 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Dark Horse Fore Smoked StoutDark Horse Fore Smoked Stout

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:

Added by Mitchster on 12-13-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 442 | Ratings: 1,112
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Jon. The smoke aromas are paramount. Pours black, great lace. above average mouthfeel. Coffee, smoke in flavour.Above average mouthfeel.Good and drinkable smoked that scored way about imperial stouts and porters in this tasting Another amazing stout from this brewery.

 275 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bay01 for sending me this one!

Pours a pitch black with a 1 inch dark tan head that fades to a thin cap. No lacing whatsoever. Smells of smoked malt, dark chocolate, and slight coffee beans. Tastes of the smoked malt first and foremost, followed by a subdued chocolate and ground coffee bean taste. There is a campfire/smoke aftertaste on this beer, which I am really liking. Higher level of carbonation with a medium body. Overall, this is a good stout with a very nice smoked quality that I really enjoyed.

 519 characters

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high dark tan head that died down and left a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of chocolate malts in the nose.
T: The taste has balanced flavors of chocolate and roasted malts along with a slight amount of bitterness. There are some hints of smoke in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The roasted flavors leave a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: This stout is very flavorful and easy to drink, even though there are lots of rich, malty flavors.

 633 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The fore-th stout in Dark Horse's series conlcudes with a familiar base-beer taste that was present in the previous three versions. But with the addition of smoke character, it seems to amplify the notion of roast in this example.

Fore pours in familiar fashion as well. Absolute blackness presents itself with an element of depth that suggests clarity even though the beer is seriously opaque. A dense and creamy mocha-stained head rises from the abyss with a very sturdy barrier between the nose and the beer. The beer laces impressively with well defined rings left behind.

Strongly roasted aromas leap from the glass and captivate the nose and are lead by the scent of freshly ground espresso beans. Complementing notes of smoky chocolate, molasses, roasted walnut and an element of campfire keep the aromas rounded and balanced.

Similarly, the beer's taste start deeply roasty with French roast, bitter cocoa, molasses and a touch of brown sugar. Smoke seems to melt into the malt sweetness with medium intensity. It's not an overly smoky beer but allows the somewhat "meaty" taste of smoke to accent the roasted barley to perfection. But the roast extends beyond burnt caramels and grain but reaches out to walnuts, charred pine and chocolate. Light rum alcohols offer a tinge of cherry and fennel before receding into the char.

Full bodied, the beer has a certain "lightness" that stems from its dry roast taste and texture. Its robust malty creaminess fulfills the mouth early on but recedes slowly as the beer has a long middle draw. Concluding in an extended finish of char, alcohol warmth, and coffee-like bitterness, the beer keeps the palate rewarded indefinitely.

Fore is dedicated and direct in its focus, not allowing any distraction from fruit, spice or any other peripheral characteristics. Its roast character shows great discipline and power. It's a fantastic display in the use of smoke with balance.

 1,926 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours almost pitch black and is capped by a mocha head that quickly drops to a ringlet, though it leaves a bit of lace

Smell: Dark chocolate, with hints of licorice and prunes; the smoke is very subtle - it is there but I could see how I would overlook it without the power of suggestion

Taste: Opens with dark chocolate and by mid-palate, the smokey flavor is much more prominent than I would have expected from the aroma; a bit of prune and molasses appears, as well; after the swallow, the smoke becomes even more prominent but never dominates and the finish has a tobacco and coffee character to it

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The smoke is subtle and it works well with the other elements in the flavor profile

 773 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black color stout with a medium size light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light smoked notes with some black chocolate and dry roasted notes. Taste is also a nice enough mix between some light smoke notes with some black chocolate and a dry roasted malt finish. Body was full with a nice creamy texture and some good carbonation. Well brewed stout though smoked notes are not as prominent as I would have expected.

 468 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an onyx black, viscous, with a tiny mocha tinged head. There's a hint of chestnut brown around the edge where the light barely gets through.

Bittersweet, with mellow earthy char that melds into the light smoky element. Aroma of bittersweet chocolate and ash. Undercurrent of brown sugar and molasses. Full bodied and milky textured. Subdued smoke makes it easy to finish a glass, even so, it's a robust stout. Bears a resemblance to the Too cream stout, with the addition of smoke.

 489 characters

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of stick lace.

S - It smelled smoky with notes of chocolate and roasted malt.

T - Great roasted malt like an American Stout with a great woody/smokey taste.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good smoked brew. Not overpowering but good enough smoked flavor.

 413 characters

Photo of oline73
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours black with almost two fingers of thick head that is dark tan to brown. A layer of head remains as I drink.

Smell: The smell is very mild. I'm picking up some roast and sweet dark chocolate notes. Perhaps a little caramel or toffee.

Taste: Bitter roast and smoke dominate this beer. There are some dark chocolate notes in there as well. I might be imagining it, but I'm picking up a slight sour sweetness that reminds me of a milk stout. The finish is quite bitter from the roast.

Mouthfeel: On the thicker side of medium, this beer has a very creamy feel to it. A nice amount of smooth carbonation, this beer covers your whole mouth. Mildly slick finish.

Overall: I would have liked a little more sweetness to balance out the smoke. A good beer and I would have another given the chance.

 859 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. Color is near black with a bit of a brownish tint in the light. Not much head or lace. Nose brigs some roasted malt, smoke, coffee, and a bit of dark chocolate. Taste is mostly roast and smoke in pretty decent balance. Feel is nice and dry with a good body. A nice stout, but not my favorite in the numbered line.

 358 characters

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It's amazing to me that I have not had this beer until today.Pours into a nonic nearly jet black except for a deep chesnut brown tinge at the bottom of the glass a deep mocha colored head atop.The smoke stands out but is not in your face that along with molasses and dark roast coffee make up the nose mostly.A fuler but more mellow mouthfeel with molasses and dark roast coffee flavors over top of mild hardwood smoke.The smoke plays a role but doesn't punch you in the face wich I thought would be the case,solid.

 515 characters

Photo of mothman
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Bruery snifter

Pours 1/2 finger of tan head that fades to a thin ring. No lace left. Color is a deep black.

Aroma: Lots or roasted nuts and peanut oil. Some smokey notes with dark chocolate. Also has some fresh coffee notes.

Taste: Lots and lots of roasted/burnt malts with a big smoke flavor. Some nut flavors again with some grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: Roasted and smokey. Very crisp for the style. Medium to full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends very dry, smokey, and malty.

Overall, this beer is extremely smokey. Almost too much smoke. Decent stout, but the smoke really covers up a lot of the flavors though. Not something I want a lot o

 673 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from Julios.

A: Very dark colored fluffy head of 1 finger fades quickly over pitch black color. No light coming through.

N: Creamy dark malts, some roast and chocolate, but not a lot. A little sweet caramel malt. A slight smoked malt aroma, and some dark malts. A very generic smoked or rauch bier like aroma. A little smoked meat aroma, some dark sweet malted brown sugar smell.

T: Taste has lots of smoke. An interesting smoked malt flavor, smoked meats and cheese even, a little sweet malt and brown sugar, chewy malts, some creamy dark malts, slight roasted barley. A slight generic sweet malt flavor too, the typical malt flavor for smoked beers. It has this plastic like flavor that really makes me cringe a bit. Almost like melting a plastic cup into this beer as I taste it.

M: Med to thicker body with lower carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly bitter from the roasted malts. Lingering smoked malt flavors, little smoked meats and cheese. Again it has that generic almost plasticy like lingering flavor, I really wish that wasn't there. Otherwise more brown sugar lingering, but quite dry.

 1,109 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, late 2012 bottling. Pours dense pitch black color with a small fairly dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, char, roasted malt, coffee, smoke, toast, light raisin, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good strength, balance, and complexity of dark roasted notes; the smoke is very complimenting and not overpowering. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, char, roasted malt, coffee, smoke, light smoked meat, light wood, toast, and roasted earthiness. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, char, roasted malt, light coffee, light smoke, toast, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice flavor balance and robustness of dark roasted flavors with smoke; and zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice smoked stout! Very robust and balanced with roasted flavors and smokiness; and extremely smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,276 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours black, with a ½ finger of reddish burnt fizzy head. This peters out pretty quickly, leaving just a light smattering of spotty lacing behind. The aroma has some subtle smoky textures going on with it, but this is mostly all about roasted chocolate malt character, along with some extra notes of caramel and herbal smelling hops thrown in for good measure. Nice.

The taste is chocolate and toffee sweetness with plenty of dark roast and bitter earthy hops mixed in. The smoke mostly takes a back seat to the other flavors, coming out the most in that roasty finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a touch more fullness here, that stays creamy up front of the sip but then gets more sharp and prickly as you swallow. There's a good amount of underlying chewiness to this that makes me think that the ABV on this is more akin to One & Too than it is the Tres Blueberry Stout.

This was good and might have been my overall favorite of the four Stouts. Just enough smoke was present while still letting the rest of the flavors have there time as well. I really enjoyed this one.

 1,123 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle
Opaque, near black body with a good head.
Mild smoke that mainly appears in the finish and aftertaste.
Full body with medium-light carbonation.
Loads of dark roasted malts.

 186 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 12/1/2014 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains smoked malts, dark chocolate and some fruit.

T: The taste starts out with a strong smokiness that is followed by strong flavors of dark fruit and licorice. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is very mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is sweet and smoky.

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

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

 784 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big black beer with a touch of smoke.

Handsome dark color in the glass with mahogany around the edges. Nice head and lacing around the glass, a creamy feel to it. Improves with a little air and warming. Rich, roasted flavors. Just a touch of burnt malt, with most of the flavors in the chocolate range. Hops are modest but just the right touch. A robust malty beer but manages to be refreshing at the same time. A winner in my book.

 433 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obsidian with no highlights. There was also no head creation until the final ounce entered the glass, at which point a slim, mocha colored disk materialized. Within minutes I'm able see the surface of the beer again and there's next to no lace. Despite the escape of gas on crown cracking, I wonder if (a lack of) carbonation will be an issue.

Like the other members of this outstanding series, the nose is incredibly rich and incredibly black malty. One was Oatmeal, Too was Cream, Tres was Blueberry and Fore is Smoked. Although it isn't nearly as prominent as it would be in a rauchbier (nor should it be), sweet wood smoke smolders just beneath the surface. I can't wait to introduce beer to taste buds.

I'm not surprised that this stout is every bit as good as all the others since I'm sure Dark Horse used the same, or a similar, base beer. I am surprised at the intensity of the various flavors given the less than stout-like body. In that way at least, Fore resembles Too.

The flavor profile consists of charred barley, espresso, chocolate liqueur, anise, blackstrap molasses and the aforementioned sooty smoke. I may be picking up a hint of fruity hops, but it's hard to say with so much else going on. The fact that no alcohol is noted tells me that the ABV is no higher than 6.0% or else the brewers are masking magicians.

With more 'oomph' is the mouthfeel department, this could be even more special beer. Again, the brewers have done a remarkable job with flavor delivery... considering. A more full, more chewy stout would allow the deliciousness to linger even longer than it already does. Despite my worries, the carbonation is more than adequate.

Fore! is a shout that golfers use to say 'heads up' (actually, down) if you don't want to be beaned by a potentially lethal projectile'. Fore Smoked Stout is the final beer in the Dark Horse Holiday Stout Series that anyone who is interested in good beer owes it to themselves to try. Since it's a seasonal, 'head's up' come fall.

 2,010 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque but clear thick jet black in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the surface of the beer and a hint of cola brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall mocha head that reduces to a large thin patch and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of chocolate and roasted malts with some light hints of smoke.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of roasted and chocolate malts with a moderate amount of milk chocolate as well as some hints of sweetness. Light notes of smoke towards the finish and there is a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness in the finish.

M: Just shy of full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Rich and enjoyable with very nice flavors/aromas and a subtle amount of smoke. Easy to drink and definitely one to grab again.

 948 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Onto to another of the Dark Horse series. Decided to skip around a little bit and hit up the smoke stout. A rather interesting style choice here, but I was in the mood for something different and decided to take the plunge. Now this was an interesting and very nice pour I would have to say. First off, just pitch black, no light coming through on this one at all. Really just tremendously dark and thick looking. A small two finger tan head rose up from it, quickly faded down to just a thin pillow and left behind large amounts of sticky chocolate lace. Now this was a dark thick stout, I got a drop on my counter that I did not notice right away, and it took a little work to scrub it off this morning!

The aroma was very nice, a good little bit of a smoked aroma was naturally present, but it was a nice roasted coffee and cocoa smell that seemed to dominate it. As it warmed, some light notes of caramel came through, as well as a touch of earthy and dark hop notes. The flavor followed along beautifully. At first coming through with a large dose of chocolate malts that really just smooth right over the tongue, as it developed some sweet sugary notes and a bit of coffee start to come through. With a nice finish that was more complex with every sip. Started off with a touch of coffee like bitterness that slowly evolved and turned into a more dark and sweet finish and left a long lingering smoky flavor on your tongue, now I was wondering when that would come into play. Very nice full-bodied Mouthfeel that was never thin or dull feeling at all, and had a creamy smoothness that was just perfect for the style. I am not sure how strong this one is, but I was easily able to finish it without much trouble, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Overall not bad at all. I am really enjoying this series of big stouts and think they are doing some nice things up there as far as experimenting. This was not as big on the smoked flavor as I thought it would be, but that was fine, it was just enough to give it a little flare and keep me very interested. Overall a rather nice example of the style.

 2,113 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tenderbranson for sharing this, enjoyed chilled ina cervoise.

The color is black as pitch, like motor oil look with a thick medium brown head with thick rings of lace left clinging on the glass. Smell is sweet and smokey with coffee and light woody odor with slight caramel note and mild hop aroma. The feel is very good, nice roasted with mild dry tinge up front with smokiness and gentle sweetness with relatively full middle and mild spice with light bitterness and mild smoky sweet finish.

The taste has a nice woody note with good sweet malt backing and body with light tinge of spice and mild toffee mixed with smoke and gentle fruity flavor in the yeast which adds complexity to the sweet woody and smoked jerky-like almost cinnamon earthy component. The flavor gets more roasted with some dark sugar as it warms with smoke flavor and subtle raisin tinge in the finish. Overall this is a great beer, way more drinkable than it should be for 8%, it drinks like 6% maybe. The smoke could be more forward, but then again I appreciate the balance this has -an extremely well crafted drinkable stout!

 1,117 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from EchoCharlieEcho, cheers Elisabeth!

Pour black as midnight in a cave with 2 fingers of cocoa colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Faint oaky smokeyness & some dark fruit, smokey picks up once pretty warm & slight sourness

T: Dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, charred grain & leafy hops up front, smoke at the edges. Molasses, more assertive smokeyness & a touch of charred grainyness once warm. Finishes dry with slight sourness, & faint coffee flavor & a touch of smokeyness

MF: Medium bodied smooth, some what creamy

Drinks fairly easy, not bad, but doesn't quite pull together. Probably the lowest rated beer for me that I've had from these guys...

 688 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is almost black in color with a couple of fingers of tan/brown head.

S: The smoke aroma is somewhat minimal here, which is a good thing in my eyes. Nice and roasty with some good dark chocolate aromas as well. Not a very strong nose overall, but what's there is good.

T: A nice hint of smoke throughout, but not overpowering in any way. Plenty of roasted malts with a hint of coffee and plenty of bitter dark chocolate flavor. A little bit of sweetness in the form of milk chocolate.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: I appreciated the balanced level of smokiness present here. Pretty easy to drink as well.

 648 characters

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. It poured pitch black with a big and thick dark chocolaty head to it. It had some pretty nice creamy head lasting a while but only left a bit of lacing on the glass.

The aroma shows a lot of both bitter, dark chocolate and sweeter milk chocolate. Some roasted, coffee and burnt flavors come through with just a bit of smoke. Very nice aroma overall.

The taste has a big dark, bitter-sweet chocolate flavor to it. Some roasted and burnt coffee flavors come through in the finish with a moderate smoke flavor to it. The bitter, burnt flavors linger after the finish along with a touch of chocolate.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with carbonation being low. Very nice mouthfeel for the style. Drinkability is good, it's a very flavorful and bold imperial stout. It wasn't as smoky as I hoped but the burnt bitterness was very nice. A very nice beer to sip on this evening.

 929 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,112 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.