Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,114 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Dark Horse Fore Smoked StoutDark Horse Fore Smoked Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
darkhorsebrewery.com

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
January

Added by Mitchster on 12-13-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,114
Reviews:
444
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
9.44%
 
 
Wants:
69
Gots:
138
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,114 |  Reviews: 444
Photo of Vdubb86
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

This beer pours a motor oil black. It may be categorized here as a Smoked beer, but this has the rich sexy dark brown foam and black body of an amazing stout. The aromatics are mostly roasted coffee and some peat and wood smoke. The flavor is a pretty damn good mixture of chocolate malt, roasted malt, oatmeal, and some smoked malts. The great thing about this beer is there is enough smoked malts that they are prominent in the flavor of the stout without going into a dominant role. It drinks pretty darn smooth, it's a thick beer to take down and it'll fill you up right. Overall this is a good beer and I'm disappointed that it doesn't get more love.

 679 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - one of the darkest pours I've ever seen. Yields an impenetrably black body and a massive dense brown head. I am reviewing this as a smoky stout rather than a smoked beer, and this is a great looking stout.

S - Smoked meats, rawhide, some less apparent dark notes

T - Sweet roasted malts, toffee on the finish, A dry smokiness throughout, but sort more as a background effect. An interesting balance from the nose to the taste.

M - Nice and smooth, good thickness. This is a good feeling beer.

O (D) - A good, dry stout. Its not as smoky in the taste as I'd expected, but its certainly there. I will call this decent.

 624 characters

Photo of khumbard
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours dark, not very thick, decent head... looks like a standard stout. Smell is roasty, some chocolate, maybe a little bit of smoke but i was hoping for more. Tastes roasty, some bitter chocolate, and a slight smokiness... more like a smokey coffee than the smoked meat taste that I would associate with the serious smoked beers. Overall this is a tasty stout that I would gladly drink again for the price, but it could have been better for my tastes.

 483 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Founder's snifter

Pours pitch black with a raisin brown head. The head is thin and leaves a ring of film around the glass. Has a roasty appearance. Not too much lacing.

Smells predominately of roasted malts with a bitter coffee finish. Has a light smoky presence that by no means dominates the aroma. Instead, it enhances and compliments the roasted malt and coffee.

Tastes just like is smells. Dark roasted malts followed by a bitter coffee finish. The smokiness comes through subtly and is very pleasant. Not much hop presence.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. It's very soft on the palate. Has a medium body thats backed up by moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is a delicious smoked stout that is not overpowered by the smoke. It strictly serves as a compliment to the other flavors and aromas which is rare in a smoked beer. It's smooth and goes down easy. This is definitely worth seeking out...even for those who are not crazy about smoked beers.

 997 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a snifter glass at Birch & Barley/Churchkey.

First notice is an extremely dark brown head off the pour, just dark powdered cococa like. Body is a classic dark walnut brown/black but some visible carbonation can be seen. Head falls easily and leaves a simple collar. Real good looking here.

Complex nose. First is a whiff of cheap coffee, and roast malt. Mild roast character turns to charred carbon. I get lots of "char" like sensation from this, and there is just a hint of beechwood like smoke behind this and bacon. Real cool.

Taste is initially light bodied and a tad wet, but gives way to light roast malt and cheap store bagged coffee. Faint anisette character on the finish, but leaves a muted malt backbone as well.

Overall pretty solid, it's the nose on this that I enjoy the most quite complex and fascinating.

 843 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got a four pack of Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout for $9.99 at The Lager Mill last week. So far I have been a big fan of Dark Horse's Stout series, so when I saw one that I hadn't had yet I knew I should give it a try. As usual with Dark Horse there is no bottling date but I know it's a 2011 vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label on this beer is nice and follows the trend of the other beers in the stout series. It poured a dark pitch black color that didn't let any light come through. It had three fingers worth of fluffy and bubbly mocha colored head, one of the darker colored heads I have encountered. It died down to a thick layer that stayed the rest of the time.

S- I pick up lots of dark, heavily roasted malts that impart a good amount of coffee and dark chocolate aromas. It smells semi sweet and very roasty, I was expecting to get some nice smoke aromas from this beer but it comes off very faint, if I didn't know better I would assume this was a regular American Stout.

T- The roasted malts dominate this brew, there were heavily roasted and imparts lots of coffee, bitter sweet dark chocolate, molasses, and some vanilla that makes for an almost espresso like taste. The smoke starts to show up a little more once it warms up but all in all it is still pretty faint and not as smoky as I was expecting, I see why it is classified as an American Stout instead of a Smoked Beer. The finish is slightly bitter and leaves me with a roasty burnt aftertaste and the alcohol was barely noticeable in this beer.

M- Creamy and Medium bodied, it was a little thinner then I would like but that didn't hurt it too much. The carbonation was on this beer was descent.

Overall I thought this was a good beer, it didn't wow me like the other stouts from the series but it was still a good solid American Stout. I liked most things about this beer but I wish it was a little thicker and I wish it had more smoke to it, other then that it was pretty solid. I can see myself getting another four pack when it is released next year but I am not going to go out of my way to track one down. If you are looking for a good smoked beer you will probably pretty disappointed with Fore, but if you want a good robust slightly smoky American Stout then this beer will fit the bill. I'm glad I knocked out another stout from the series, all I have left to try is One Oatmeal Stout and Plead The Fifth. Dark Horse makes some solid stouts thats for sure.

 2,492 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The final of the four seasonal offerings. I have yet to find One oatmeal, maybe next year but I do love a smoked beer! Got this at D's six packs for under 3 bucks.

A - Man every time I pour a dark horse stout it reminds me of the words "thick" and "viscous" really are. Pitch black and thick as it glugs into my glass. Surprisingly I only got a half inch of dark tan head. No problem since this beer is almost 4 months old.
S - I get more coffee and chocolate notes than I was expecting. Really hoping the smoke compliments the coffee in this. Does smell pretty roasty.
T - A moderate level of smoke, sort of ashy but balanced that kind of tastes like toasted coffee beans since that is the next flavor of roast. Travels to a more sweet note of dark chocolate and finishes sweet with a nice malty sweetness. No real bitter hops but didn't expect it. The smoke flavor is pretty constant starting off every sip so it's no one trick "pony" Very balanced.
M - Not sure the abv but it drinks with a medium body. I would say between 7 and 8 percent. Fantastic!

Overall right now I am kicking myself since I didn't grab an extra bottle or two of this! Another great offering and I am loving there beers more and more. Definitely can't wait to see what beer hits my D's six packs next since it's the only place in town carrying these fantastic beers. Smokey good Dark Horse Team!

 1,374 characters

Photo of armock
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to champ103 for hooking this one up in a trade.

A - Poured a black color with a brown head that quickly fades to a ring

S - Is of roasted malt that gives off some sweetness and a decent bit of smoke

T - Pretty good a good bit of smoke upfront then the roasted malt comes out with some chocolate flavor

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

O - I'm liking this beer theres just enough smoke in it to keep me happy sure I'd like more smoke but its getting the job done in the flavor department making it worthy to pick up if you find it around

 577 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown color where no light shines through. The head is light tan, dark for even a stout. Interestingly, There is no lace.

Deeply earthly with a sense of nuttiness. Most reminiscent of a mocha milkshake--lightly sweet with a touch of coffee and cream.

Harsher than the smell indicates, strong black patent component. Very close to an Irish stout in terms of the dryness. I do not detect any smokiness. The body is on the thinnish side; the carbonation above average. The aftertaste is bitter in a burnt sense.

 520 characters

Photo of ccrida
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my Schell's shaker pint, Fore is a ruddy brown with a tan head that leaves very light lace.

Smell is all dark malt, some chocolate.

Taste is OK, it's got some chocolate, not overly smokey, but too much sweetness, marshmallow.

Mouthfeel is semi-dry, medium bodied.

Drinkability is okay, a chocolatey stout, but lacking the smoke I expected by the name - average.

 380 characters

Photo of TheBear11D
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

The beer pours pretty much strait black with a small dark brown head that was present for only a moment. The appearance was more of a soda than a beer. Thank goodness for some lacing to help this out.

The nose brings some rich smokey malts in abundance.

Another wonderful stout from Dark Horse. The flavor is dominated by the sweet smokey malts. Coffee is also detected, but less noticeable.

The beer is a little on the thin side, although not a complete loss.

Overall this is another solid brew from Dark Hose.

 528 characters

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

12oz bottle into a Snifter glass

Served at Fridge Temperature

A- Pours a nice solid black with a small amount of dark brown in the light. Not much head at all other than a nice brown rim around the glass.

S- Up front is really nice smoke and roasted burnt coffee with an almost sweet bacon like aroma. Some chocolate in there as well.

T- Creamy roasted malts with bitter unsweetened dark chocolate. Not as much smoke as the aroma unfortunately, gets lost in the creamy coffee and chocolate flavors but definitely adds a nice extra element to the beer.

M- Creamy heavier body with moderate carbonation and a nice bittersweet finish.

SkÅL!

 648 characters

Photo of NEhophead
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a nonic.

Syrupy, opaque deep brown in color. The carbonation-filled, coffee colored head is pleasant, but short-lived. No lasting traces of lace.

Bitter chocolate with rough, roasted coffee beans. The smokey character is moss-like and works well with the roasted coffee and earthen aromas.

The peat smoked malt character is present immediately and mingles with a slightly weak roasted espresso quality. At mid-sip is a burst of rough, piney hops. Along with a bit of over-carbonation, the hops hijack the deep, roasted flavors. A dry finish is followed by a return of the smokey flavors.

Full bodied; dry on the palate along with a stiffness caused by the intense carbonation and hop character. The mouthfeel is rather deceiving given how syrupy this stout pours.

A pretty tasty stout that stands out compared to other American stouts. Some flaws, mainly texturally, but a decent offering. Certainly a nice introduction to Dark Horse.

 972 characters

Photo of Axic10
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a thick almost motor oil black with about a finger of light mocha head that settles down to a thin layer in a few minutes.

Smell: Sweet chocolate and roasted smoky malt mixed with some coffee. The smoked aspect of this isn't as strong as I was hoping for.

Taste: Bitter dark chocolate, deep roasted malt malts and bold coffee. Smokiness shows up in the aftertaste and is not overpowering at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and has a nice creaminess to it.

Overall: Really decent beer from Dark Horse. These guys are making some decent stouts and this is no exception. Looking forward to trying the remainder of the series of 5.

 704 characters

Photo of bsp77
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Near pitch black with thin brown head. No lacing.

Smell: Molasses, licorice and chocolate. Fairly sweet and only the slightest hint of smoke.

Taste: Not as sweet as the aroma, with chocolate, coffee, molasses and licorice. Turns a little bitter at the finish with char and harsh roasted notes.

Feel: Moderate carbonation with a medium to full body. Quite dry but a little chalky and not as smooth as the best Stouts.

Overall: Very good Stout overall. The charred notes add a nice layer of complexity to what would have otherwise been a fairly straightforward Stout.

 642 characters

Photo of Phelps
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle sent by badnewsbeers into a tulip. Thanks to a bit of foresight, I checked the brewery website to find out that Fore’s the fourth in a series of five stouts “produced to help ease you through the cold and grey midwestern winters” and is made with peated malt. There’s smoke in the forecast.

It looks very similar to the other stouts in the series: thick, oil black from bottle to glass and topped with a short-lived head of cinnamon bubbles. Its darkness fills me with a sense of foreboding. A thick, creamy ring remains after the head subsides.

Fantastic smoky nose. Hints of tobacco emerge amidst heavier aromas of caramelized pork and campfire smoke. Sweet cocoa keeps things from getting too sooty. A foreshadowing of things to come?

The malts in the flavor seem more burnt than smoked, exhibiting a charcoal blackness. Hints of dark chocolate pop up, as does a noticeable earthy hoppiness.

The body’s a soft, creamy medium with the lightest hush of carbonation. The bitterness of the roasted malts is nice, and the alcohol (which Dark Horse neglected to put on the label) is hidden rather well.

Overall, Fore’s not a bad smoked stout — but it’s also not something I’d go out of my way again to procure. I’ll forego the effort for something better and closer to home.

...fore.

 1,332 characters

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pitch black, just like the others in the seires. The pour dropped a thick finger and a half of mocha head that faded and left some spotty lace.

A: At first I get the roasted malts, followed by the smoke, and then the bittersweet ending. From the name, I thought the smoke would be in the forefront, but it wasn't. It was just a nice added addition to the already roasted malts.

T: The sweet and roasted malts dominate, but the smoke flavor is a nice departure. It is not a smoke bomb, just a nice subtle touch that lets you know it's there. Some chocolate, vanilla, woody notes are also present. It finishes slightly sweet and dry.

M: I don't think this is too high in the ABV department, which makes the mouthfeel even more impressive. Creamy and thick, full body.

O: I was pretty impressed with this. I usually don't go for the smoke brews, but I might have to reconsider after this. Dark Horse is doing some really good things with their stouts. Skal.

 1,011 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 jefferz5000
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a past trade. Thanks somebody!

Pours a rich black with a small deep tan head that hangs out for a bit and then fizzles to a ring. Starting off well.

Smell is pretty nice. Getting smoke, cocoa and coffee.

On to the taste. Things had started off well so my expectations were building. Unfortunately, the taste is a let down. Not getting much smoke, especially for a beer clearly labeled "smoked." I'm pretty disappointed with this. Chocolate and coffee, like the nose, are the other flavors I'm getting, but there's just an overall hollowness here. All the flavors seem dulled down or muted. I'm drinking this slightly below room temp and this just isn't delivering, and I'm not a big fan of the aftertaste either. I'm not even in a grumpy mood right now!

Mouthfeel is alright, I'd say moderate with decent carbonation.

Overall, this is just slightly better than average and I have to say I'm disappointed. The Too Cream was better and I actually expected to like the Fore more. Owell!

 1,000 characters

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

I have generally enjoyed this series thus far and was excited to see a smoked version on the shelf, excited.

A- Pours out pitch black with a creamy, extremely dark mocha colored head. Retention is pretty nice. A solid coat of lace.

S- A blast of rich chocolate comes off this nicely with a good roast malt profile and hints of coffee and raisins. A bit smokey here but not a main component of the aroma.

T- As with the others of this series, the dark roast malt and rich chocolate flavors present are some of the best in any stouts. The smoked character works its way into the flavor pretty nicely. Slight dark fruit.

MF- Almost has a foamy moderately thick feel to it. Carbonation is pretty high. A bit of cocoa/hop bitter feel.

Another great stout, the foreth one in a row, heh. I personally would have preferred it a bit smokier but it sort of worked its way in nicely with some warmth. Keep it up on this series!

 921 characters

Photo of EricCioe
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours impenetrable black with a one finger, tight mocha head that leaves no lace. It almost looks like it's on nitro. On the nose there is a great combination of deeply bitter chocolate with some clean smoke. This isn't like the peat smoke I'm used to in scotch whisky, but more like a clean oak smoke or something else a bit less intense than decaying biomass. It's a really well-balanced nose. In the mouth there is bitter chocolate, full city roasted coffee, a little bit of anise, and all of that riding on a clean cloud of smoke. Again, the smoke isn't overbearing or especially pungent, just present and very pleasant. The body is medium but the finish is nice and long with the bitter chocolate lingering with the smoke. The only downside of this beer is that it's probably a little too distinctive to drink back to back to back, but that's hardly a knock. I like this beer a good deal, quite a bit more than I thought I would. The smoke is just another flavor in a well-constructed stout, rather than a bolted-on gimmicky flavor. After a few misses with me, Dark Horse has really come through with Fore and Plead the 5th.

 1,134 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Way more balanced in bottle than on the draft version I had last week, this dark pitch black Michigan stout forms with a 3 finger thicket of dark khaki tan head leaves thick chunky sporadic lacing. Aroma has dark chocolate, hints of fruity coffee, and underlying layers of smoked malts. Really not bad, one of the better of the four stouts, creamy dark chocolate flavor with hints of coffee and smoked stouts. Flavors in clude dark dry bitter chocolate with hints of roasted barley and smoked underlying malts not in your face but really cohesive and complimentary toward one another. Mouthfeel is big bodied stout with a creamy bodied and lingering smokey bitterness from the dark malts and smoked malt additions. Overall impression is that things just keep getting better when I try a new beer from Dark Horse I want to see more in Ohio and Pittsburgh. Great not too late to get adventurous greab some of the 5 stouts this year before they all disappear.

 956 characters

Photo of silentjay
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As with all Dark Horse stouts, this is black and thick, but it has an unimpressive head that disappears quickly, though lacing is left as I make my way through the glass.

admittedly, I'm not a fan of smoked beers, but the aroma mixes in plenty of sweetness and dark roasted malts to make a very aromatic brew that doesn't smell just of overdone bacon.

the taste starts out smoky and meaty, but quickly shifts to a very dry cacao powder and bitter, burnt coffee flavor with some slight woody and fruity hops that are again, overtaken by charred malts and a significant smoke.

a touch light bodied for the style and flavor profile, with a slight carbonation.

not my favorite of the series or style, but very good. smoke is dominant, but not overpowering, which is good. I would not drink this often, but I would drink it again. Dark Horse makes two of my favorite "smoky" beers by not letting the smoke overpower, but adding complexity.

 938 characters

Photo of Snow81
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black as night with no light penetrates this beer

Head: Dark rich brown head that dissipates quite quickly

Smell: Burnt roosted malts with hints of coffee light coco and a small bitter hop note

Taste: Coffee, caramel, toffee, chocolate, subtle hops with brunt roosted malts

Weight: Medium body with a low carbonation

Finish: Burnt malts with a subtle bitter hop

 378 characters

Photo of hosehead83
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouredf from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Deep black like crankcase oil in color, with a thick head of chocolate milkshake foam.
Aroma-Dark roasted malt and coffee, dark chocolate.
Taste-Strong, dark roasted black coffee, charred malt and burnt oak. Very dry, smoky, black coffee ground finish.
Overall, big character and strong flavor throughout. A little aging would help mellow out this strong stout.

 417 characters

Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,114 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.

    Subscribe