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Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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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:
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Reviews: 442 | Ratings: 1,110
Photo of Jwale73
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard pint glass (thanks iceicebaby). Poured an opaque black with a dense one-inch milk chocolate colored head. Some ruby red highlights detectable at the bottom of the glass every time I tilted it for a sip. Strands of watery lacing that produced several bands before eventually settling into some thin inconsistent webs. Scent of chocolate and malt. Taste similar to nose. Extremely rich with a subdued roasted coffee character in the background that nicely complemented the chocolate in the foreground. Smokiness was not detectable until the brew warmed and little, and only at the finish. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied and surprisingly light given the consistency; partially due to a mild effervescence across the middle of the tongue. Alcohol was well hidden and only expressed itself as a subtle warming around the back of the tongue. This is my third Dark Horse brew, and I am really falling in love with this company. What a great stout.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful look to this beer. Pitch black. Inky black body. Thick dense dark brown head with great retention. It coats the glass fully as I drink. Nose has some light phenolic smokiness, milk chocolate and bitter roasted notes. Nice bitter roasted char like entrance on the palate. Chocolate follows with a bang. Bitter chocolate, that is. Some dark berry tones and a little of that flamed marshmellow char to it. Velvet feel. Medium bodied. This is very good. Only serves to strengthen my opinion of Dark Horse.

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Photo of Tbn2
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks again to drxandy for this. I think this might be one of the best beers I have ever had. I am in a euphoric state right now (this is the second beer I have had and I'm not high right now)

A-Black. Almost brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S-Smoke, Chocolate, Caramel, and like it is going to take me to a new world.

T-Everything I hoped for and more. One of the best stouts I have ever tasted. I wish I could make beer this good.

M-Perfect; enough said.

This beer took me to a new world. I would like to think of myself as a seasoned beer drinker. This is probably one of the best I have ever had. I can only remember a few beers that tickled my taste buds in such a good way. If you can't have sex tonight, buy a six pack of this. It will make sweet love to your mouth.

Bottoms up...

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Photo of HopDerek
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with 2 fingers of dark brown head, little retention leaves spotty lacing. Smells of charcoal, dark fruit, dark chocolate, and coffee that has been sitting on the burner for a while. Tastes of smoky burnt malt, dark cocoa powder, cherries, plums, and a burnt espresso finish. Medium in body with fairly high carbonation for a stout. Smoky but not overwhelmingly so, more like very roasted and bitter with hints of smoke. Another unique stout from Dark Horse, but not as smoked as I expected. Still good though and worth a try.

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Photo of Overlord
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Artusory for the extra.

Pours an inky black, gigantic dark tan head. Really attractive beer.

Smell isn't as strong as I expected. Some smokiness, some roasty malts ... that's about it.

Flavor is a bit more robust. The chocolate is definitely on the bitter side, and the smoke/charred sensation is definitely strong. Not quite as overwhelming as the Alaska smoked porter, but that same tang ... almost rawhide/jerky ... is there.

Glad I had a chance to try it, but smoked brews apparently ain't my thing.

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Photo of drxandy
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz to Tulip glass, pours opaque black with great head, creamy brown/reddish amber

smells of oats, smokiness, malts, a creaminess

tastes oaty, roasty/smoky, almost like a porter gone wild. Coffee, hop bitterness, peaty/earthy tones like a scottish style, chocolate malts, well balanced.

mouthfeel is creamy, rich, bitter and easy to drink.

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Photo of robbyc1
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really nice brew, tasted it at cellar temperature.

Deep looking black, very nice liquid look, slight tan head.

Nose tells that is is roasty, smells of chocolate, deep malt, a bit of smoke.

Taste is easy to drink, roasty chocolate, nice bit of smoke goes with charred hamburgers, very enjoying.

Silky mouthfeel, very slick, very good. Easy drinking for a smoky stout, could have several of these, don't believe the abv is above 8% but I could be wrong, very nice.

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Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice black hue with a bold two finger head. The head dies quickly to a nice cap. Spotty lacing can be noted.

S: Nice smoaky aroama with notes of peat and charcoal. Hints of dark berries and a dash of cocoa.

T: Nice charred malts with a blast of cocoa and espresso. Hints of peat and charcoal come thru in the middle. There is a nice hop profile for balance.

M: Medium in body nice an smooth.

D: Fore is the 4th in the series. It is just as good as the 3 who preceeded it. Rather enjoyable.

Overall: Another great brew by Dark Horse. I just love them. All these great midwest brews almost make me wanna move back home to Indiana.

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

This beer pours a dark brown almost black color. The head is half an inch in height, tan in color, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, coffee, with a very faint hint of charcoal. The taste is like the aroma with a little more smoke, but it is still light. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, for something called a smoked stout I expected more smoke. It is not a bad beer. However, I think I would like it more if it were described as a stout with hints of smoke.

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Photo of ZAP
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a stout with some character....pours black with ruby highlights...light woody smokiness on the nose and burnt malts...

Medium to full bodied...On the taste the smoke is still subtle..also a good dose of dark chocolate, burnt malts and espresso.

Full flavored stout with a lot of burnt malt and dark cocoa...smokiness is subtle but adds a nice touch to the overall product.

Well done...a stout with character..

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams pint glass

A: Pours a thick, viscous looking motor-oil black with a coffe and cream colored half inch head, the darkness really belies the ABV on this beer, which is to say this thing looks like a Dark Lord or KBS, that is how thick and black this thing looks. The head fades into a ring not that long after the initial pour and leaves little lacing. The way this thing looks coming out of the bottle saves it from an average rating.

S: Sweet and just the least bit smokey in the nose, dark chocolate and ground coffee along with a light and sweet hint of cherry. Caramel malts and brown sugar are detectable as well and makes for a pleasantly complex aroma.

T/MF: The opening is rather smooth and creamy with dark chocolate sweetness coating the front of the tongue, yet the beer seems trapped near the front and falls a little flat in the opening as it sort of just sits there with minimal carbonation that makes it difficult to move the flavors completely around the mouth. The finish is where the smoky flavors make themselves instantly apparent. As soon as you swallow a dry smokiness rolls over the entire tongue and almost makes you forget about the slick and sweet opening. After a few sips the dryness completely takes over and covers up most of the flavors if you don't force yourself to pay attention to what is going on. As the beer warms and the smoke subsides or at least is accustomed to, the subtlest of fruit flavors being to appear. Smoked plums and cherries are what come to mind, backed by a milky chocolate sweetness.

D: I really want to love this beer because of how much it demands your attention when drinking it, but it seems as though this beer is just too complex for its own good, or complex for the sake of complexity (just my opinion) and there are times when the smoke seems to detract from the overall taste rather then compliment it. It is a very good beer and one that I am sure is amazing on cask or tap, but in the bottle it seems a bit one dimensional even in its complexity.

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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.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Very very dark black with a very modest brown head that settles to a covering over the entire surface. When held to a light, the beer absorbs almost all of it. The head retention is astounding.

S- I was expecting this to smell like a bonfire or bacon, but oh man... this is a winner. Chocolate, coffee, and a hint of smoke. A great balance of sweet and roasty. This smells great, but not extreme by any means... almost a little subdued.

T- Lots of chocolate and a sweet roastiness. Coffee and smoke are there as well. This is pretty complex and damn tasty.

M- Very creamy with a dry finish. Not the best I have had, but I am having trouble finding anything wrong with it.

D- Yet again Dark Horse blows me away with another stout. I just wish I knew the ABV so I could better gauge how do drink this because I sure as hell can't detect any alcohol. A delicious surprise in a very plain bottle.

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

Thanks goes out to lightindarkness for this brew.

Pours a black color, nice carbonation, little fizzy dark tan head, no sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, slight smokiness, slight vanilla, some toffee/caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, good tones of toffee/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty stout. Recommended.

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Photo of bashiba
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark black with the darkest brown head I think I have ever seen. nice lacing and retention as well.

Smell had a light bit of chocolate espresso with a touch of burnt malts.

The flavor is nice and bold with a great toasted and smokey bitter dark malt flavor, nice hints of chocolate and coffee with a touch of fennel.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy with a touch of dry lingering finish.

Easy to drink stout, its on the bitter side for a stout in a good way.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from Merchant Fine Wine in Dearborn Heights, MI. in March, 2008 for $1.99. Label contains minimal information (and can't be soaked off the bottle for my collection! How rude!).

Pours a deep rich dark brown/black with a chocolate espresso-crema colored brown head. A steady stream of tiny bubbles comes up the side of the glass.

Aroma is bitter chocolate and a faint espresso-like bitterness.

Flavor is smoky, almost a burnt toast taste with noticeable hops bitterness on top. Very dry, with a bit of an alcoholic burn at the back of the throat.

Honestly, during the first half of this bottle, I wasn't sure if I liked it. It must be an acquired taste, because by the end of the bottle, I was a believer!

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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.

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

Pours black with a big dark caramel head that slowly recedes. Aroma is a nice smokiness, some cola sweet maltiness and a little roasted malt aroma as well with a little acidic tanginess. Taste follows the aroma fairly closely with a nice smoke quality, cola sweet malts show a little fruitiness as well. Nearly burnt roasted malts mingle well with the smokey flavor. Mouthfeel is medium in body, decent, carbonation is creamy, a bit of a hoppy, drying, peppery finish. A very drinkable stout, everything was in good proportion, sweetness to smokiness, very drinkable.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to northernbrews for this brew.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

I can't say I've ever had a smoked stout, let's give it a shot.

Pours a complete midnight black with a big dark mocha three finger head that quickly dies down to a thin layer of bubbles. Not much lacing is left behind on the sides. Smell consists of sweet malts, charred wood, and brown sugar. Slight coffee and caramel aromas find their way in the nose as well. Not as smokey as I had anticipated, let's take a sip. Mild burnt wood flavors from start to finish. Dates and plum make a quick appearance on the tongue but are quickly over taken by more charred flavors. Very slight chocolate malts also can be detected on the tongue. Aftertaste is a bit dry with roasted barley. Flavor is kind of one dimensional overall. Medium bodied mouthfeel with an extremely smooth feel. Low carbonation, but I like how it fits in with this beer. Pretty solid beer overall. Definitely give it a shot, but I wouldn't go out of your way to do so.

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

Got this one from BlackAngus as part of BC2. Thanks!
This one poured black as night with a collar of dark brown bubbles. The fine skim of foam stuck around for quite a while and produced some spotty lacing. Malty aroma with a charcoal character. Nice mellow smoke with some caramel, chocolate, vanilla and roast. Balanced, solid bitterness played well with sweet malts. Lots of caramel and bittersweet chocolate up front, smoke and burnt towards the end, but always accompanied by sweetness. Full bodied, average carbonation, slightly dry, decent texture. A solid stout with just enough smoke to keep it interesting, not enough to overpower. Nice balance.

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

Lexx picked this one up in Michigan, thanks!!

Pours an opaque black/brown, red edges, thin brown head, settles to a ring, some lace spots, looks basically like the other stouts in this series. Smell is sweet, chocolate, cherries and dark fruit, maple, cream, light smokiness. Taste is rich chocolate, roast, toffee, maple, cream, smoky finish, light though. Mouthfeel is light bodied, a little thin, low carbonation, easy on the smoke which would have distinquished it a bit from its counterparts, still pretty nice though.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - motor oil pour. A thin but dark mocha head looks great but is thin and gone too soon.

Aroma - plenty of roasty malt aroma out of the gate, fading noticeable after a minute. Maintains some good aroma though.

Taste - good roasty malt flavor in front, some sweetness balancing the char. The swallow has a very nice roasted coffee flavor and a weak touch of balancing hops. A touch grassy on the finish, more good roastiness on the finish with some good length to it.

Mouthfeel - firm bodied, medium carbonation. Well done.

Drinkability - not necessarily smoky, I've had regular stouts that tasted pretty much like this one. That said, the mix of flavors has sessionability beyond what I could normally tolerate for the style.

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Photo of malty
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet-black. Semi-loose dark khaki 1/4" head. Very faint patches of lace.

A few swirls of my SA bulbous glass evoke a sweet & roasty scent of dark malts and some concord grapes. Some bitter dark chocolate & molasses creeps up at the end.

A somewhat burnt/charred wood flavor hits the tongue with a chalkiness that (I'm assuming) come from a hop element. Watered down dark fruit and roasted malts are there from start to finish.

Mouthfeel is watery and uneventful, mostly due to a very low level of carbonation. Medium bodied at best.

Drinkability is OK. I won't be tracking more of this down in the near future. The smokiness is very faint to where it’s almost undetectable from the ordinary roasted malt (general) flavors.

Overall a stout that has a very nice burnt/charred flavor going on, but not really any discernable ‘smoke’ flavor happening. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the effort, it’s just not my cup of tea - or stout.

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4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours thick oil black as the rich body settles into the glass. A hard pour only gets about a half inch of milk chocolate colored head that quickly fades to nothing. Nose is soft but consistes of smoked meat and toffee. Enters the mouth with a slight smokey soured feel but quickly mellows to a rich burnt malt mouth hue. Extremely smooth and drinkable. Notes of bakers chocolate develop on the back of the tongue as the beer warms. Almost develops a creamy sweetness on the mouthfeel. This beer is hugely drinkable and one I will buy again soon.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.22/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: One a scale of one to ten…ten being too carbonated and one having no carbonation…this would be a two. This is pretty much flat. No bubble movement and only a thin dark beige film sits on top of the uber dark brown body.

S: Delicate smoke, milk chocolate, lactose, charred wood and a hint of grape sourness.

T: Begins with a medium roastedness with a low level swash of dried cocoa. Little bit of oatmealish flavors and some other fairly smooth graininess competes against the roasted barley. Some cola notes flit in and our while only a minor amount of smoke can be round. The smoke is more like some charred wood that you would find out of a campfire than actual “smoked” grains. Finishes a little choppy and not totally smooth.

M: Medium body, thin and hard across the palate.

D: Not really balanced and jagged flavors that aren’t melding for me. Mouthfeel is hard and not full how I’d like it. Not a bad beer but not a favorite.

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Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,110 ratings.
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