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 Windigstadt
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Like every other Dark Horse stout I've had, it pours an inky jet black with a decent brown head. A visually imposing beer.

S: Inviting combination of smoky and roasted, coffee-like aromas. There's also just a hint of fruity esters and piny hops.

T: Sugary sweet malt flavors of caramel and brown sugar greet the tongue along with a relatively low but still noticeable Beechwood-like smoke taste. As you swallow, the smoke gives way to a slightly astringent, roasty flavor but the sweetness remains. Very, very slight alcohol burn. After you swallow you get a hint of hops which, combined with the roast malts, keeps the beer from being cloyingly sweet. Overall, the flavors are all well-balanced; an impressive feat.

M: Full not not thick mouthfeel; seems appropriate for style.

D: The smoke is light enough to make this quite drinkable for a smoked beer, though it does sit a little heavy in the stomach.

Overall: Admittedly I'm a big fan of smoked beers (and obviously if you don't like smoked beers don't drink this--duh), but I was really impressed by this one. The harsher roast notes (likely from black patent malt) make this a nice variation on the ubiquitous smoked porter, and all of the flavors seem to meld together nicely. If you like smoked beers, definitely seek this one out.

 1,298 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a dark tan to a brown head. In the aroma, a pork smokeiness, and small hop presence. In the taste, roasty, coffee notes, and a small smoke presence. A small bitter and medium to big mouthfeel, with a dry roastiness, and small smokiness in the aftertaste. Great nose, was expecting more smoke in taste, yet really good.

 339 characters

Photo of tariq1
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Got a four pack recently and I didn't want it to end. Tastes like a good old fashioned Midwest campout in the forest. Good smokey flavor, but not overpowering the classic malty stout flavors that you'd hope for. It's deep though not very heavy and not too complex. There were a few gaps in the flavor and it wasn't the freshest feeling bottle which keeps it out of the upper echelons of my beer selection, but I would certainly buy it again. I'd also love to try this one on tap one day.

 518 characters

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

Pours a pitch black with motor oil like viscosity with a mocha brown head. Head fades fast and not much stick. Coffee and caramel notes make this an enticing brew - nice smell to this. Bitter chocolate, vanilla, smoke, and caramel make this a really smooth and nice stout. Finishes dry and bitter on the palate, but overall a really nice creamy mouth feel. Overall, this is a top notch smoked stout and I will def try again.

 429 characters

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

A - This beer poured a black color that produced a tan head that had great retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The smell of this beer had aromas of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee

T - The taste of this beer was along the nose, roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, and coffee

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - I really like what Dark Horse is doing, the Stouts I have had from them were amazing, the only one I have left to hunt down is the Blueberry, otherwise, great beer

 566 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

Photo of hardy008
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark black with a less than one finger mocha head. The aroma has dark chocolate, smoked malt, dark roasted malt, and coffee.

Has a smoky flavor with bot some sweetness and bitterness. There smoked malt, chocolate, dark roasted malt, and coffee. There is also some earthiness.

Medium to full bodied with modest carbonation. There is a light smoked malt aftertaste, Very easy to drink. Worth buying again for sure.

 422 characters

Photo of tastybeer
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Black and solid. Small, quickly fading head, and one tiny spot of lace.

S: Smokey ash, cocoa, burnt coffee, tobacco, hickory, lactose, mollases, and caramel. Pretty vast aromas coming out of this fine beverage.

T: Taste is cocoa packed and delightful. Flavors include blackened meat-like notes, cream, coffee, tobacco, and molasses. Nice stuff going on here.

M: At the beginning of my sips it seems thinner than expected but it swirls up quite a bit in your mouth. Velvety smooth and soft. Like liquified chocolate with super fine carbonation.

O: Yes!

 559 characters

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

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Black color. Almost one finger of frothy/creamy hybrid medium brown head. Retention isn't the greatest and lacing is minimal.

4.5 S: Very nice here. Smells more like a smoked porter than stout, but whatever. The smokiness is on the lower end, but it works really well. Good toastiness, black malt, and roasted coffee. Clean, but slightly grainy and dry. Very nice.

4.5 T: Again, smoked porter like due to the lack of residual sweetness and touch of graininess. Smoke again is subtle, but works well. Black malt and roasted coffee again along with some general burntness. Hints of chocolate. Clean and well rounded.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could be a bit creamier, but nothing too out of whack.

4.0 D: Pretty good beer. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm starting to think that Dark Horse makes some damn fine beer.

 877 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 JackieTH
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fore poured an inky dark brown/black very viscous-appearing with a thick but very short-lived head that leaves a web of tan foam bubbles lacing across the surface.

A rich aroma greets the nose, definitely sweet like black strap, chocolaty, hints of roasting coffee, tied with a subtle smokiness and black strap molasses.

Flavor follows the nose hand in hand...roast coffees, mild dark chocolates, and smokiness throughout, but definitely not overpowering.

Luxurious mouthfeel, very smooth, creamy with just the right amount of carbonation to provide a little bite.

So far I continue to be impressed by Dark Horse's stout line up. This is another good one from them and it's getting harder for me to pick a Dark Horse favorite.

 731 characters

Photo of roadhouse
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours an opaque black, kind of like the used motor oil you would pull out of a Model T. Very dark tan/brown one finger head. Cap is retained throughout the session. Moderate lacing is left behind.

Aromas of chocolate, creamed coffee, roasted malts, and some faint smoke. It's not overwhelming, but it's definitely there.

Taste has some chocolate up front, a touch of molasses, with a coffee-like roasty character building throughout with the smokey character entering towards the finish. Again it's not Rauchbier smokey, it's more of a subtle flavor that adds to complexity.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very creamy like all of the Dark Horse Stouts. They sure have nailed the creamy thing for stouts.

I found this to be a pretty enjoyable and interesting stout. Smoke character is mild but very complementary. Another great stout from Dark Horse.

 886 characters

Photo of BeerZack
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a rich black with a half finger of brown head that almost immediately fades to naught. Initially I'm not getting any smoke on the nose. Definitely some roasted coffee, sugar, cream and hints of vanilla and cocoa there though. Not nearly as menacing as the name led me to assume. The beer tastes pretty mild as far as the smoke is concerned also. I don't get any of the acrid or astringent flavors sometimes found in heavily roasted smoked beers. Roasted barley and char (more than smoke) come out front then a bit of hop bitterness and semi-dark chocolate come out midway and last through the finish.

 606 characters

4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap. ½ Pint glass. Enjoyed on may´12 at “The Freiburg” following Robert Merryman´s advisories. Very dark amber in color. Brownish, slowly dissipated, creamy crown. Toasted malt aromas & cocoa hues to the nose. Fresh black tobacco too. It tastes as it smells: hints of coffee & black chocolate, tobacco touch & smoke resolves in a puckering sensation. Eventough, mouthfeel is smooth & creamy with low but dry bitterness. Mildy ripe plum on the finish. Delightful & refreshing. Gimmy more!!

 498 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Oh man. Bubble bath time. I'm not a homo but I really needed one tonight. Nothing like a new stout to go along with it, no?

Appearance : Pours a tarry black color... pitch, motor oil, coal...obsidian. It's a black hole in a glass, there's no way light is coming through on the other side. They should have called this the 'black hole of death'. The 3 finger head actually pours slightly red, like an angry irish fire brick red. It settles down into a peanut butter brown with tinges of red. It has receded to 1/2 a finger at this point.

Aroma : Salted Caramel Macchiato. Spot on. It has the roasted coffee with rich caramel and cream notes, and a toffee-like sweetness, and a faint smoked aroma. It's beautiful. The bouquet is medium strength.

Taste : First, it's roast coffee, followed by a slight hit of toffee and caramel, then coffee bean and dark charred smoke. Roasted and fresh ground coffee are left lingering on the tongue. It's a rather complex profile yet stays linear and true to form.

Mouthfeel : Medium bodied, bordering on full bodied, with an undeniable slight creaminess that's brought into balance by the charred and smokey notes. It ends semi-dry.

Overall : Another hit Stout. I love it, you should too.

Aging notes :

At 1 year the Rauch really starts to come out and it tastes very smokey, very roasty. I love it.

At 2 years the beer loses its complexity and feel, and tastes more along the lines of mild coffee and stale chocolate, with aromas of oats and feels like a lager.

Drink at 1 year for maximum smoke.

 1,544 characters

Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with three fingers of creamy brown head and a decent amount of carbonation sticking to the glass. Good retention and leaves some lacing.

S - Not surprisingly, smoke dominates the aroma. Smoke smell has a decent amount of wood character. Also some roasted malt present. While the smoke is predominant, it is by no means overwhelming.

T - Taste is initially chocolate and coffee malts with smoke coming through in the middle and on the finish. From the smell, I worried that this might be a bit one dimensional, but a nice balance of flavors are present. Some slightly bitter coffee persists.

M - Medium mouthfeel, actually a little thin, with some creaminess. Nice carbonation level.

O - I'm not a huge fan of smoked beers, but the smoke works well here and is nicely balanced. Another solid stout from Dark Horse.

 833 characters

Photo of Brenden
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours out a viscous oily black that just lets some brown peek in at the edges. A creamy tan head about one finger tall, showing good retention, leaves a mixture of spotty and patchy lacing sticking on the glass.
The smokiness is well-attenuated in this beer, allowing for smoke with just a touch of char and no acridity. It gives a bit of woodiness to it, campfire style, with a touch of coffee, bittersweet cocoa nibs, and a touch of creamy vanilla. In this beer, there's an obvious roastiness that's well developed into the smoky flavor rather than just being a roasty stout. Smoke carries all the way through and lingers in the finish. Everything comes together and mingles just a little more fluidly in the taste than the smell, which itself is quite good. This is a great beer for those who like smokiness that isn't overdone and tastes genuine.
This beer also slows smoothly, having a light carbonation all the way through as well as a nice creaminess that comes into play from middle to finish. The body is appropriately heavy without sitting heavily.

 1,067 characters

Photo of prototypic
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to hoppymeal for another fine beer.

Appearance: It's a very dark chocolate fudge color. No light gets through this beat. Very impressive. The head, what little there was, was a very attractive dark mocha color. But, it disappeared as quickly as it arrived. very light lace was left behind. I wish I knew the abv on this one.

Smell: The nose isn't very powerful, but is enticing nonetheless. Roasted malts are apparent. Perhaps a little chocolate malt's there for good measure. There's a very distinctive smoky aroma that smells delicious. It's easily the most notable scent here, but doesn't overpower you in any way. There's a roasted coffee/espresso aroma that plays its complementary role well. No alcohol is noted.

Taste: It picks up a lot of steam here. This is delicious. It has a really nice roasted and chocolate malt base. Tastes like roasted malts are the strongest. It's a little sweet. The smoked flavor is not quite as distinctive here as it is on the nose, but it is a very nice flavor and works extremely well with the other flavors. Roasted coffee is indeed complementary, but adds a nice dimension to it. There's a spicy element here, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Alcohol is not noticeable in the least. Finishes sweet and a little spicy.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It has a medium body and is overall smooth. Carbonation is noticeable, but doesn't offend. It honestly could use a little more body. Drinkability is good. Despite the fact that it doesn't feel like a big beer, it is filling.

Fore is another excellent beer in Dark Horse's stout series. It's not perfect. The nose could use some muscle and more body would go a long way. But, it does have a lot of flavor to go around. I've heard rumors that Dark Horse will be distributing in Ohio soon. I don't know how true that is, but a guy can dream, can't he?

 1,859 characters

Photo of joedevivre
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If this beer were an album, it would be White Light/White Heat by The Velvet Underground. Hidden not very deeply inside the smokiness, you can taste the electric viola, feedback and heroin.

The smoke was a perfect compliment to the stout and the look and feel of the beer itself was smooth and warm.

I've enjoyed Dark Horse brews before, but was still surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. One of my favorite smoked stouts.

 430 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Yeahnatenelson!

Appearance. Pours black with a thin, dark-tan head.

Smell. Dark roasty malts, chocolate, nice smokey wood and dark coffee.

Taste. Dark roasted malt and charred wood with some bakers dark chocolate and dark coffee. Dry and tasty.

Mouthfeel. Below medium in body, medium-low carbonation.

Overall. Nicee stout with some great smoke that doesn't take over like in so many smoked beers. Nice stuff.

 421 characters

Photo of wedge
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a heavy, motor oil color with only some sparse, creamy brown wisps on top. Damn, these guys really like to make their stouts DARK. Somewhat subdued smoky malt aromas combine nicely with softly sweet, chocolaty roast, and berries. Deliciously malty flavor...the smoke isn't really center stage, but rather supporting the rich, dark chocolate and cutting the sweetness with a bitter, espresso and campfire finish. Pleasant tobacco and dark fruity undertones. Medium bodied and fairly low on carbonation. I've enjoyed every single one of these Dark Horse stouts...well done!

 577 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: Pours just like all the other DH stouts (One, Too, and Tres...don't know about the "Fifth" Imp. Stout, I never tried it) in the series. Pitch black with a mocha colored one finger head.

S: Aromas of smoke, coffee, and bitter chocolate. Also has a certain "tartness" to the nose.

T: Big and bitter. Very smokey and roasted. Semi-sweet chocolate, burnt malt, roasted coffee, tart cherry, peat smoke, sweet rum soaked raisins, and spicy & bitter hops (at the finish).

M: Big and full. Creamy and quite bitter at the same time. Lingering finish that starts spicy and semi-sweet and turns bitter and tart at the end.

D: Almost sessionable. Very agreeable to the palate. Definitely worth seeking out each and every one of the 5 stouts in the series.

 814 characters

Photo of aasher
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a midnight black, viscous, with a light dark khaki head that laced the glass. I know this beer is released in January but I think this may be from last year due to all of the sediment in the bottom of the bottle. This beer doesn't smell any different from the Dark Horse One Oatmeal stout. It has dark, rich roasted malts, slight smoke, some oak, and has a lactic acid like sweetness that fades to bitterness. The longer you sip the beer the more smoke you get in the nose. The taste is better than the Oatmeal in my opinion. It surprising starts out as bitter chocolate before finishing with moderate smoke. The more you drink it the sweeter the chocolate becomes. I like it. It doesn't have the lactic acid that the Oatmeal can have. It drinks pretty smoothly and still has good carbonation that tingles the palate. This is probably my favorite one of their stouts. It's also pretty drinkable considering it's probably around 8%, like the Oatmeal.

 966 characters

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm having great luck with smoked beers lately, sheesh! This one from a local brewer to boot!

Pours an ebony black in color with literally no head whatsoever. Nose is a little weak, a little bit of smoke but that's about it. Taste is gorgeous though a good bit malty but large and in charge in the smoke department. Lots of char and roast going on as well. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but all in all everything works well in this, quite balanced and well crafted.


 479 characters

Photo of littlekidlover
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured what looked like motor oil into my beer tasting wine glass. The little bit of light brown head disappeared quickly. This beer is black as night. The smell is mostly burnt coffee with chocolate and a bit of vanilla. The smoke makes itself evident in the taste. I'm tasting everything in the smell with a bit of smoked sausage and some raisin. Nice silky mouthfeel and quite drinkable. Another solid offering from a brewery that continues to put out a lot of winners. Note to Dark Horse- you keep putting out $7.99 4 packs of great beer, I'll keep buying them.

 567 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.