Archive for the 'Dark Horse' category
Ben reviewed a couple of Dark Horse Brewing beers a while back, and they all seemed quite enticing. (Doing a quick search of Sevenpack I realized I had a Dark Horse beer at Beer Advocate’s Extreme Beer Fest Night of the Barrels, and put it in my “liked” list.) It turns out Dark Horse started distributing their goods here in MA a couple months back, and the local watering hole had Dark Horse’s IPA, Crooked Tree, on tap. Given the positive reviews of their other beers, I decided to give the IPA a shot.
The first thing I noticed about the beer as it sat in my pint glass, it was extremely cloudy. I thought it was the off-white head settling to its creamy consistency but the cloudiness never dissipated, even when the head started to recede. The cloudiness of the amber-orange body reminded me of a Metamucil commercial before the Metamucil had been fully stirred in. Minus the less then spectacular visuals, the beer’s aroma was spot on. Hops are predominant, with big grapefruit and citrus, and a finish of pine. There are some grain based malt notes to provide slight aromatic balance.
The taste is much like the aroma. Grapefruit dominates the mouth, with pine notes making an appearance, and then growing a few sips in. The beer finishes bitter and quite dry, which leaves the palate cleaned and ready for the next sip. The malt only comes through slightly with a sweetness mid-tongue. It provides a minimal counterbalance to the hop. With the beer finished there was some left over sediment clinging to the glass.
Though visually it was not the most appealing beer, the taste is what matters in the beer world, and I enjoyed the refreshing, strongly hoped taste of the brew. I look forward to future Dark Horse creations.
Honestly, I wasn’t even planning to review this particular beer. But then I realized that there is a two-headed winged demon goat on the label. So I decided I’d better say something about it.
This brew pours a super dark, though not terribly viscous, deep brown with a light caramel head and tons of coffee bean in the nose. In the mouth, this beer brings forth tons of sweetness at the front of the tongue, full of toffee, caramel, and coffee flavors – practically a boozy version of Starbuck’s latest dessert creation. Along with the sweetness, there is a decent bready malt complement, giving this a rather thick mouthfeel despite the lack of thickness in texture. Through the mouth, the sweetness maintains and lasts long into the aftertaste, making this a rather unilateral flavor experience. However, I can’t deny that the flavor in question is absolutely delicious. I was initially blown away by how tasty this beer is, and I’m still enjoying it towards the end of the bottle. However, I could see the benefit of a more pronounced bitter flavor to balance things out.
It’s interesting to find a coffee doppelbock, which is actually a variety of lager. In general, we’re accustomed to seeing coffee paired with ales such as stouts or porters. I’m not sure if this contributes to the more focused flavor profile, but it’s worth noting. Nevertheless, I’m just being a devil’s advocate here (a two headed goat devil, perhaps). This is altogether a fabulous beer, and one I would highly recommend, especially on a cold snowy night like tonight and every recent night here in Michigan. Dark Horse has yet to let me down – their beers are consistently excellent and robust, and their label art is yet to disappoint. I’m hoping to fit in a couple more before my sentence here in MI is complete…
I know it’s been a long time since I rapped at ya, but life’s dealt a few busy months for the Ben – too busy even to write about his favorite libations. However, I now find myself spending a few weeks around Michigan and, knowing how many delicious brews this state produces, I could hardly stand to sit idly by and not document a few of ‘em. So, I apologize for my absence… I can’t promise that I’ll be such a frequent visitor as I have been in past years, but I’ll do my best to let you know when I find something I find new and delicious.
Tonight I’m sipping on a tasty Scotch ale with a pretty sweet name – the Scotty Karate. This comes from the folks at Dark Horse. Frankly, I haven’t had a lot of beers from this brewery – in fact, I think the only place I’ve ever enjoyed their beers is at Foran in downtown Detroit (my favorite pub IN THE WORLD).
This one pours a deep brown color with some translucence around the edges of the glass and a fluffy off-white head. The aroma here is full of dark chocolaty malt and displays a bit more molasses than I usually expect from a Scotch ale. In the mouth, this is certainly a larger than usual Scotch, as well. The mouthfeel is instantly thick and viscous on the tongue, and a rich molasses sweetness washes over the tastebuds. As the beer develops through the mouth, this flavor never really dissipates – rather, it is simply joined by a few sweet dark malt flavors and a balancing bitterness that is earthy and redolent of aniseed. Down the throat, the flavor sticks around rich and dessert-like. It’s a very tasty beer for those who appreciate this genre, and it’s size and richness only increase as the beer warms – eventually reaching a critical mass worthy of the 9.5% abv on the label. Another tasty offering from Dark Horse – I hope I’m able to try out a few more of their beers over my coming weeks here in Michigan…