Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

very good
443 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
Reviews: 443 | Ratings: 1,113
Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with chocolate colored head. No lacing to speak of, not great on the retention either. When it's cold, this one smells like a wet dog, which is not appealing. As it warms, however, more roasted notes come out with some nice smooth smokiness. Taste is pretty good, the smoke isn't overpowering at all. Tastes kind of like Stone Smoked Porter to me, maybe a bit smokier. MF is a bit thin, though a pretty good stout overall. Drinks well, I was happy I had it, though I'm not sure I'll be revisiting it.

 525 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 adman08
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours very dark brown, almost black, with a good amount of brown foam that fades quickly. When served cold there is almost no head but at cellar temp there is plenty of head.
S-Lots of smoke aroma up front with an underlying aroma of chocolate and caramel malt with some herbal hops.
T-Very smokey, maybe too smokey. There is a good stout flavor profile underneath with flavors of chocolate and herbal hops and some caramel malt sweetness.
M-Full bodied with very light carbonation. Fairly dry overall.
Overall, a pretty decent smoked stout. I think it's a little too smokey, they could dial that back a bit but the stout base beer is quite good. It's worth a try but I couldn't drink more than one at a time.

 712 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one at West Side Liquors in West Harrison, IN. No freshness date on this 12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Poured at 45 degrees. After an intentionally aggressive pour, it only yielded a 1/8 inch mocha head. While drinking, only a small mocha ring remained. Body of beer appears a thinner, very dark brown. I can't see through this one, at all.

Smell: alcohol, coffee grounds and dark chocolate. Possibly a hint of blueberries, as well.

Taste: Smooth, creamy chocolate, coffee and charcoal. Still getting blueberry or other dark berries in the flavor with no real smoke flavor detected. Finishes with a diluted coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium bodied with light carbonation. Okay for its' style.

Drinkability: This was a nice beer to drink, probably my favorite beer from Dark Horse, so far. Would I run out and get a six-pack of it if I was craving a nice stout? Maybe, but I didn't pick up on any smoke...

 921 characters

Photo of swizzlenuts
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice tan head that dissipated quickly (I think this because my glass was slightly dirty). The beer is pitch black and poured like motor oil. The nose on the beer is filled with roasted malts, chocolate with a hint of smoked malt. The flavour is around is flavourful, but the mouthfeel is slightly thin, which hurts this beer a lot. The flavours are smoked notes and a lot of coffee flavours. Some hints of chocolate come through as well. There isn't just enough flavour.

 472 characters

Photo of beesy
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Fresh in today's shipment to Columbus Ohio - I've been waiting for almost 10 months for this to show back up.

A - pours an inky black with a two finger dark brown head that surprisingly dissapears fairly quickly.

S - aromas of smoke and chocolate ooze out as this brew as it is poured. Others aromas include coffee and roasted malts.

T - smoke, coffee, and dark chocolate dominate. Somewhat one dimensional considering what should be all going on in here - I think it's the thin mouthfeel that's ruining it. There's a hot alchohol on the back end of this one - needs to sit and meld a little.

M - a little thinner than expected, bordering on medium-light. I expecienced this in several of their other winter stouts. Either increase the mash temp or change to a less attenuating yeast to fix this!

D - low. The smoke and other full flavors keep this one from being drank too hastily.

Overall, I really enjoy all the Dark Horse winter stouts, especially this one, but wish they would fix the thin mouthfeel by increasing the mash temp or switching to a less attenuating yeast. The mouthfeel appears to hurt this one more than othe others in the series. I rememeber this being a little smootherr - maybe it needs some time to sit an rest.

 1,298 characters

Photo of iuhophead87
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am very spoiled and can get Dark Horse anytime I want and have never sat down to rate this beer. So here goes:

A- Pours a thick dark black with a thin creamy brown head. This beer is non-transparent and even with a flashlight; I could not get light to creep through this creation.

S- Smell like a newly opened bag of charcoal mixed with alcohol and burnt cherries.

T- I like the sweet taste that this stout has, but still think it is a little syrupy for m liking. The sweet flavor is like a smoked prune juice or raison flavor. Although it is a smoked stout, the smoke flavor is not overwhelming.

M- Not too thick for a stout, but a little syrupy, almost like cough medicine.

D- Obviously a standout beer for this category. Not my favorite, but can get it easily and will have it again. I think I'll wait until the winter to try this bad boy one more time. A little to syrupy to drink more than one.

 907 characters

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A disappointment. Fully expected to love this beer. First, I love Dark Horse and have been very impressed with every beer I've had, and not just Pt5. Second, I love all the aspects of this style. But this beer is thin, lacking in smokiness, and needs more sweetness to keep it from tasting flat. Wish I loved it, but I'll stick to their many other great beers.

 365 characters

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown, tan head, quick to fade.

S: This was perhaps the best part of the beer, a nice smell of chocolate, with a hint of smoke. Interestingly, having finished the beer 20 minutes ago, I can still smell smoke on my hands, and no, I've not had BBQ tonight.

T: Smoke came up strong during the initial swallow, but faded some as I worked my way through the glass. The promise of chocolate was not fully realized when it hit the tongue, as there were fewer of these notes than I'd have expected.

M: Lacked the gravity I usually expect with a stout, but was pleasant enough.

O: It was a decent stout. The initial spike of smoke was perhaps too much for my taste, but as it mellowed what came through was a reasonable, but not exceptional, take on the stout style. Can't say I mind too much that I have three more, I think I'll try one with a slab of ribs and see how that goes. Still. I also can't say this would be the first pack I'd grab off the shelf the next time I'm browsing the options at my local haunts.

 1,018 characters

Photo of naproxen
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ha, I love this fizzy root beer head that appears and extinguishes just as quickly. I am reminded oh so slightly of smokey campfires and spicy roasty chocolates. I have had this one time prior on draft at the Bavarian Lodge in IL, and I can't say that bottling has reduced the draw of this stout. It is dark, real dark, yet one can still recognize the chocolate aspects of the hue. This will definitely be a stout I shall keep an eye peeled for when on more midwest soils.

 472 characters

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled 8/29/11. 12oz bottle to snifter. $3.75 for the single.

A: Two fingers of medium brown head diminish rather quickly. A thin ring remains for a couple of minutes then disappears, leaving an almost completely still black body.

S: Very roasted. The smoke has receded to the background after 8 months, but lightly charred wood and soy sauce are still evident. A swirl of the glass brings about hidden notes of prunes and molasses. A regretful move - nearly rendering the mouthfeel useless - as the little amount of carbonation that *was there* initially is now gone.

T: Fairly complex with lots of subtle flavors. Tar, charcoal, leather and peaty earth with underlying notes of chocolate. Right in between sweet and dry, favoring the dry end of the spectrum on the finish.

M: Medium body and slick texture. Average effervescence before agitation. There is no indication of ABV on the bottle (or Dark Horse's website for that matter) but the BA listing of 8% is very believable.

O: Fore is a nice smoked beer. I'll probably buy a future batch to compare a fresh bottle.

 1,076 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black in color-nice tan head-almost looks like oatmeal floating on top. Moderate aroma-somewhat chocolate like with a neat twinge of anise. Roasted flavor, some smokiness. Slight traces of oakiness and peat. The peat flavor is more prominant then the actual smoke to me. Lingering dryness. Good body. Very enjoyable beer. I give it high marks for drinkability though personally I could only do 2 or 3 in a sitting. Well worth a try-especially if you like smoked beers.

 473 characters

Photo of domtronzero
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing Kyle!

A - Very very dark brown nearly black with a short' long lasting mocha colored head. A little bit of lacing.

S - Dark roasty malts, coffee and slight chocolate with a subtle smoke aroma. Some bready malts emerge as it warms.

F/M - Slightly sweet bready malts up front with roasty dark malts and coffee following behind. Subtle smoke flavor isn't as noticeable as I expected. Moderately bitter and the dark malts help the finish to be extra dry. Lingering burnt malt flavor lingers for a bit.

O - Pretty good, but the flavor doesn't hold up to what the aroma suggests. However, I find it rather enjoyable.

 633 characters

Photo of n0315
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black and very little head. Smoked hops and malt come to mind first on the smell. Oily surface with beads settling on the surface for a few seconds. Lacy with an espresso brown color. On first taste, espresso comes to mind in a big way with maybe a finish of chocolate. Not too overpowering, but a bit sweet at the end. after taste stays in your mouth for a bit. A decent brew and certainly worth trying.

 418 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black into a snifter, small brown head turns to a slight cap and ring quickly, stays that way through the duration.

Smells include milk chocolate, coffee with cream, smoke+roastiness, maybe some vanilla and piny hops back there too. Smoke is light but noticeable, well-rounded scent.

Smoke is still light in the taste, but easy to pick out. Mostly a roasty chocolate caramel mix with mild char and coffee. Good but somewhat unremarkable.

Feels light for 8%, slick mouthfeel with lowish carbonation. Drinks easy.

Overall a fine stout, wish it was a bit smokier, kinda comes off as just a stout with more roasted malt than usual rather than a smoked stout. Wouldn't mind having it again.

 701 characters

Photo of Vogie
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Sam Smith stout glass

A: Jet black like motor oil. Small brown head that goes away once poured.

S: Roasted coffee with maybe some chocolate. Not getting a smoky smell which is surprising, If its there I am having trouble detecting it.

T: Burnt toast flavor with maybe some coffee mixed in.

M: Chewy medium body feel. Moderate carbonation.

O: This beer doesn't do a whole lot for me. The burnt toast flavor just didn't work. It almost masked any other flavors that were present. True to style though. Dark Horse does some amazing stuff but I wouldn't seek this out again.

 588 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 CrazyMacHarris99
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black oil consistency with little head that dwindled down to a ring. Smell is a little boozy almost like boubon. There is a hint of roasted malts and chocolate but mostly alcohol. The taste is more to the style. There is a hint of smoke with a really strong roasted malt flavor and a slight coffee and chocolate. The mouthfeel is creamy and full but its more of sipper than a session. A solid offering from Dark Horse but not the best smoked beer.

 455 characters

Photo of kasper
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 bottle aged about a year.

A: An almost pitch black oily pour produces a rich, burnt chocolate brown cascading head that leaves patches of lacing around the glass.

S: Aromas of sweet milk, cream, roasted malts. Most of the smokey aroma must have faded.

T: Loads of sweet dark and chocolate malts up front, but giving way to considerable smokey and roasted malt flavor that finishes with a tad of bitterness.

M: This is a thick ass stout -- all of those in their stout series are. Almost full bodied with limited carbonation.

D: I hear these stout series beers are best fresh. The nose and flavor are lacking on this year old. Still drinkable but tastes sludgy.

 669 characters

Photo of tewaris
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no information and BAD artwork poured into a snifter.

Phenomenal looks, just as good as any other stout out there: Fore poured real dark, in an almost black stream with a big, dark mocha hued creamy head. The head retention was good too. The lacing? Not so much, but still there.

Roasted coffee beans, sugars, and faint smoke form the backbone of this beer. Hints of chocolate. The first whiff was quite smoky but it went downhill from there, and I am a little disappointed; I was hoping for a smoked monster, but it's just ok.

Roasty bitter with subtle smokiness should describe this one pretty well. Feels mildly fruity at the beginnings because of the acidity and the slight sweetness. Largely bitter with a roasty finish and a long aftertaste that is more coffee than smoke, I am underwhelmed. The alcohol creeps in with warmth but is never distracting.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation, high acidity, and medium finish. Overall not bad, but not exactly what I was in for.

 1,008 characters

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

12 Oz Bottle. Oily density spills from the glass in viscous splendor. Thin rim of sweet Virginia pipe tobacco. Aroma has a suave and smooth rough salted oak and charcoal. Deeper there is a rich, musky earth spiced with whiskey splendor and hints of barbecue. Deep and complex. Flavor carries more of a dry stout character, but is nicely highlighted with grill char, sweet fish marinade, long drying coffee air, and some flatter ocean tastes. Carboniferous and yet higher with bits of brandy marinated fruit, nuts and nice general malt figures. Long smack in the middle of dry and sweet, but generally enjoyable. I guess as a Smoked this doesn't really excel all that much as I'm not grabbing that much smoke, but it's a nice stout twinged with those aromas and flavors.

 769 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a unique beer. Not like a Rauchbier, but along the same lines. Poured out to a black (and I do mean BLACK, as light did NOT pass through the glass whatsoever) appearance with minimal carbonation, this brew was near being flat. Not much of a head, but a thin layer of medium brown foam covered the top of the beer. No lace. Odors of salted olives were present, as was some generic smoke notes. Flavor was spicey with notes of black pepper, overcooked malts, and raw coffee. Some smoke toward the finish. Very heavy and filling mouthfeel. This is my first smoked beer, and look forward to seeing some others in the style. This beer is a good place to start. Worthy of a try.

 680 characters

Photo of herman77
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with minimal dark brown/orangish head. Dark cocoa smell with smoky malt. Taste remind me of their oatmeal stout without the sweetness. Creamy...Dark unsweetened chocolate with a lot roasted malt. Pretty much the same mouthfeel as that too. Just like their oatmeal stout, it seems a just a little overly carbonated. I pick up a little smokiness at the end. It lingers for a long time.

I was a little disappointed by this one. I was expecting it to be a lot more smoky, maybe this is because I'm a big fan of smoky, peaty Islay whiskies like Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Lagavulin. Curious about the ABV, does anyone know?

 632 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 coldmeat23
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Pours up black. Surprise! One-finger head of dark brown foam. Retention and lacing are both minimal.

Sweet malts with a touch of roastiness. Hints of chocolates and coffee. Very light touch of smoke.

Dark roasted sweet malts. Milk chocolate. Coffee with cream. Light sweetness of dark fruits. Decent presence of smoke, mostly in the finish, but not nearly as much as anticipated.

Solid medium body. Nice and smooth, but seriously lacking creaminess. This one could be better.

Sure it's drinkable. Sure I'd take it over a waterey Guinness. I'd also reach for something else before this one, though. Like the Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout.

 697 characters

Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,113 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.