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

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Reviews: 444 | Ratings: 1,114
Photo of BMMillsy
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Bottle from Rebekah. Big thanks goes out to her! Pitch black pour with a nice creamy mocha colored head. Big time roast aroma, bittersweet chocolate, smoke char, and just a hint of sweet dark fruits. Flavor is super rich roasty bittersweet chocolate, subtle molasses and fruit sweetness, and finishing with a big blast of smoke on the palate. A combination of smoke and chocolate lingers for a long, while like smoked mesquite BBQ kind of wood. Big rich mouthfeel--impressive for the ABV--silky smooth with low to low-medium carbonation. Reminds me a lot of Plead the Fifth but with extra extra roast and some smoke. Smoke doesn't overpower which gives this a nice complexity among all the flavors present. This is really really good!

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Photo of DougT
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Guinness Pint glass.

Very dark brown to black with a 2 finger milk chocolate head that quickly disipated leaving very little lace. Little to no foam left after a few sips.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, maybe a little plumb. Quite appealing. Not smelling much smoke.

Pleasantly bitter, not harsh, not overpowering, but prominent. I can taste the smoke. I can taste the alcohol. Some sweetness. Well balanced, but a bit subtle for a stout. It's a very nice flavor that makes you want more.

Medium body with some tingle from the bubbles. Like the head the mouth does not linger. Very good but not superlative.

I like this beer. It's very drinkable, but that's sort of it's problem. This is billed as a stout. It's not heavy enough and the smoke is not prominent enough for it's stye and the lack of head retention is a little disappointing. It might be better named a porter and might help having a little age. A date on the bottle would be nice.

But it is really very good. I would recommend it to people that don't necessary want a really heavy stout but might enjoy something smoky with stout flavors in a porter weight.

I think I'll get more.

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Photo of mverity
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

NYE bottle share at Proof. Apparently 4-5 years aged. Pours a deep rich black color with very thin head and a decent tan collar. Aroma is lightly smoked malt, and some burnt coffee. Taste is very similar. Taste is not overly smoked, which is a common complaint I have about smoked beers. Thick body and low-medium carbonation.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - dark brown, nearly jet black complexion with mocha colored head

Smell - chocolate, roasted malt, char/burnt firewood

Taste - chocolate, roasted malts, hint of coffee, molasses, smoke is present but not dominant or overwhelming

Mouthfeel - smooth, heavy bodied, hearty,thick and robust, medium carbonation, balanced flavors, I like how the smoke is well integrated yet restrained

Overall - this was a stout that I enjoyed, recommended if you like smoke to have a nice role, but not a lead role

Price point - $3/ 12 oz single

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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.

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Photo of BreakfastStout
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a chilled pint glass.

Appearance: Dark caramel brown with a minimal dark tan head that quickly dissipates and leaves little to no lacing.

Smell: Smokey chocolate nose

Taste: The smokiness is very noticeable and crowds out the chocolate coffee flavors. A lingering bitterness is also present.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin for my tastes. The chocolate creaminess that I love in a stout was noticeably missing here.

Overall: Not bad, but I've had better stouts, and also better offerings from Dark Horse. I wouldn't go out of my way to seek this one out.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours jet black with a tan bit of lacing. A little bit of effervescence is evident.

Smells of rich caramel, lactose, coffee, vanilla and some mesquite.

Smokey mesquite woodiness is accompanied by a nutty bitterness and some mild lactose sweetness and non-sweet dark chocolate character. Perhaps a bit of fig in there.

Full bodied with a stinging carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A really tasty and enjoyable smokey stout, goes down surprisingly easily and hides its strength well. The only real knock is the body, which could stand to be a bit creamier. Otherwise, excellent and I look forward to having more of these.

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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!

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Photo of MDDMD
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a decent tan head and little lacing

S-chocolate, dark roasted malt, smoke, coffee, molasses

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, subtle smokiness, little bitterness in the finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and silky

O-a pretty good smoked beer, nice body and decent flavors

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Photo of farrago
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Demure head, little less than a full finger and fizzes off rapidly, dark brown in color, minimal stickiness in the wispy lacing. The liquid is unsurprisingly black and opaque, lightens up just enough near the surface to see active carbonation and a mild orange tint. The nose is not vastly smoky, more a solid toastiness and roasted nuts and cocoa powder, very chocolaty, no real fruit presence nor citrus, minor notes of mineral water, cereal grains and granola, not overblown but steady and longlasting. Full-bodied, the carbonation brings a light prickle but not much overall activity or freshness. Instead, you get a lot more roast although I’d still call it chocolate and cocoa than coffee related and it only gets smoky when close to room temperature. Grains, tar, black tea, iron flecks, not much going on which is overtly sweet. More earthy with campfire ember accents. Here there’s some apricot, cherry to lower plum fruit flavors. In its favor it is smooth without excessive creaminess, drinks well but not ingratiatingly so. Marked most by its unremarkableness, no flaws, not quite generic, just a beer. Sometimes that is enough.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: None, 2012 release
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Probably my third favorite in the series (see ratings for the others), Fore brings an ashen, black malt character to the Dark Horse stout base that seems to be used across this line. An interesting use of black malt (I speculate), this is one I'd probably return to if available next winter.

Pours a 1cm tall head of dark tan to brown-colored foam, made up of small to medium-sized bubbles, creating a fairly dense looking mass atop the body. Retention length is less than average, lasting less than a minute in a quick decline to a thin ring of residual foam around the circumference of the glass. The beer's body is a dark brown to black color, light showing a slight amber-brown hue. Beer is opaque, no carbonation perceived.

Aroma is of roasted malt with a bit of sweetness, dark chocolate, vanilla, and spent ashes from a campfire. The smoke is not overly present in a meaty, rauchbier sense, but more in a black malt meets wood ashes sort of way.

Front of palate picks up roasted malt, dark chocolate, burnt coffee beans, campfire ashes, deep-dark sweetness with a modest caramel edge. Mid-palate picks up intensified dark chocolate with burnt toast, coffee beans, and marshmallow, hints of wood-generated ash, vanilla, and an acrid sweetness. Back of palate finds continued heavy, roasted and black malts contributing flavors of very dark chocolate, burnt coffee beans, charred toast, campfire ash, and an acrid sweetness. Aftertaste of strongly acrid sweetness, campfire ash, burnt marshmallow, charred toast, and very dark chocolate.

Beer is medium-bodied with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a mouthfeel that is gently foamy and soft, with substantial thickness as well. Closes fairly dry, with substantial stickiness lingering on the lips and tongue.

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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.

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Photo of karengarys
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

My slowly poured 34 degree bottle landed very nicely, transparent black with dark dark brown bubbles. At this point I tallied the look at 3.75. It wasn't but a few minutes longer that all visible foam disappeared, leaving a liquid you couldn't tell if it was even a drink. Still not offensive, and the initial pour was decent.

Smells like a stout, with maybe some oak? Not really floral, and a bit dry.

Taste is stout like, but there is the burned wood flavor. Guess that's the smoke, now, isn't it?

Mouthfeel, well - maybe stout like. I should make it clear I'm not a fan of true stouts. This is why. The mouthfeel is watery, almost slimy, but with a little carbonated creaminess that saves it as much as you can at this point. I can't just drink it, I kinda have to work it.

Finish leaves the campfire ash soup on the back of your tongue.

Overall this is okay. I'm not able to recommend it. If I got into a conversation with somebody who said "I'm looking for a Guiness like beer, but, maybe with a smokey flavor", I would point them to this beverage. It would be with warning - more of a "well, if you see this..." as opposed to "you gotta find this!" ...it isn't worth seeking out...

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Photo of RickS95
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An amazing looking beer for guys who like the dark stuff like me. Completely pitch black. Coal in a glass. The head starts off dark brown before lightening a bit and retaining well with a mild brown set of bubbles. A slow dissipating lace.

Lots of roasty scents as you'd guess. Roasted grains, a bit of chocolate and expresso, oh yeah, a bit of smoke.

There's roasty smoke, chocolate, charred grains, spent coffee grounds. But it all works.

It's so creamy and smooth, it gives the impression it watered down, but it really isn't. Medium bodied with a wet finish, but not watery. Just exceptionally creamy.

Very easy to drink for the style. The char is just enough to let you know it's smoked, it never crosses the line. ABV on the bottle is listed at 7%, but it's so smooth you wouldn't know it. Good beer.

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Photo of Fcolle2
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick black with a dark tan half finger head that disappears quickly. No light make it through this beer and it looks pretty thick.

Nose is dominated by a coffee like roast malt bitterness. Slight hints of chocolate however not detecting a whole lot of smoke if any at all.

This is malt forward that is very rich, this followed slight coffee notes and bitterness. No alcohol is present on the exhale but alas! The smoke does exist, it's nice and subtle and only noticeable on the exhale. Doesn't taste like peat smoke but its really tastey whatever it is.

Mouthfeel thick and kind of syrup like, spot on for a good stout. I would have liked a tad more carbonation but that's just personal preference, it borderline flat.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a mini brady snifter

dark pour with minimal head. glugs out like oil. smokey and roasted meats in the smell/flavor. some coffee, cocoa, strong and alcoholic. the smoke lingers on the tongue.

"Schmokin'... ...beers, beers, beers"

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Photo of TheSSG
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a minimal head. Nice, soft aroma of smoke. Black. Starts acidic with roasted malt, moves into a smokey malt as the carbonation clears the palate. As the toasted malt overshadows the smoke, it lingers into the finish.

I like this quite a bit. A nice stout with a medium amount of smoke.

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

Pours an impenetrable black body with a small brown head with decent retention. Aromas are predominantly of a charry smoke and dark chocolate garnache, reminiscent of a burnt smore. The aromas come through in a big and literal way on the front and mid-palates, with a sweet and smoky finish that lingers long pleasantly. Full bodied with warm alcoholic tingle. Assertive without being so heavy handed on the smokiness that you want to quit halfway through.

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Photo of sharlie
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I personally do not know why I tried this beer. If you are looking for a very smoky, coffee type of beer with chocolate undertones, this is the beer for you. The aroma starts of hitting you with the smokey nose along with the coffee appearance. IT is a thicker beer that is filled with flavors, just not the flavors I am looking for in a beer.

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Photo of Catherine8189
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Dark rich color that hits you right away with the smoke. The coffee and dark chocolate undertones then come through very vibrantly. The aroma is full and rich. The creaminess of this beer is evident from the site of the pour. The appearance is very dark drown, almost black. Very rich and flavorful stout, excellent choice for this style of beer.

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

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

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

Radiant black and completely opaque the head was fluffy and brown.

The scent has obvious smoky tones but I get charcoal, leather, chocolate malt, smoked meat and maple.

The smoked tones come out stronger in the taste. Charred malts with a hint of chocolate, the smokiness blends well with the typical stout characteristics.

The feel is easy and light with a touch of wateriness but overall this is a beer with good character.

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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.

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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!

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

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a deep black color with a 1" dark brown head that recedes fairly soon to leave a modest amount lacing on the sides and an irregular island of foam surrounded by a thin ring around the glass. Sipping creates scattered patches of foam.

The aromas are on the strong side and include the smoke, some toasted malt, a bit of chocolate and some coffee.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the chocolate sweetness and smoke up front but the coffee and toasted character noticeable as well. There's also a noticeable bit of bitterness.

The mouth feel is on the medium side of full bodied and smooth with the moderate carbonation. The medium length finish begins as the chocolate and sweetness begin to fade allowing the coffee, smoke and toasted malt to play for a while before the lightly smoky dry ending.

On the whole a quite good beer that I'm looking forward to having again. It's easy to drink and while smoke is noticeably present it is well controlled by the other flavors.

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