Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA

I’ve found a new spot on the couch to blog from. It’s the side of the couch by the window and every time I settle in to take a chunk out of my backlog, the cats feel the need to come by me and fall asleep. Then, they start snoring and man, do they snore. Shockingly, the typing doesn’t bother them.


ABV: 12%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We actually took the Crooked Tree recipe and doubled all of the ingredients except the water, just the way a DOUBLE should be made. Big hops balanced with tons of malt give this beer a huge body. Enjoy right away or let it mellow and smooth with some age.”

Random: This is a February through April seasonal.

This beer poured with a three finger, ecru colored head that dissipated slowly. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark mahogany color and incredibly cloudy. As a result of the cloudiness, I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose was filled with nutty malt and old pine needles and astringent booze. Grapefruit came through too. The taste was more like an American Strong Ale than a double IPA. It had a lot of booze, with malt that was more nutty than sweet. Hazelnuts stood out to me. It had the same old pine needle taste with dried grapefruit zest. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. It had a thick and boozy finish with pine needles. This set me back $5.25 per bottle ($.44 per ounce). I liked this beer, but it was more of a sipper than anything else.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Dark Horse Plead The 5th Imperial Stout

I found this beer at the Craft Beer Outlet outside of Philly. This was the only beer in the stout series that I hadn’t been able to find with relative ease. All of the others were reviewed in 2014. This was hiding in the corner of the cooler and I almost missed it. Let’s see how the final beer was.


ABV: 11%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The fifth and final beer in our stout series. Our Russian Imperial Stout is pitch black in color with a faint tan head that immediately identifies this beer as BIG. Aromas of dark fruits, chocolate, caramel and roast also make it even bigger. Roasted coffee and fruity chocolate notes are just the beginning of this beer’s complex flavor. You have the right to enjoy or remain silent (ha, ha!).”

Random: I like this idea of Dark Horse’s stout series. They come out at different times of the year so you always have something to look forward to.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with smoke, ash and dark chocolate. The taste had a bit more depth. It had a lot of smoke and ash with dark fruit, molasses and dark chocolate. After a few sips, there was some licorice as well. I got booze warming as well, but nothing like the ABV. The body was thick like oil with light carbonation. It had a long finish with dark chocolate and smoke. This was $11.99 for the bottle, which breaks down to a pricey $1 per ounce. Despite the price, it was just an excellent beer and one worth searching out. Now, to find the bourbon barrel version…

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale

I picked this beer up at Half Time since it’s not distributed in Jersey. Let’s see how their take on a tripel is.


ABV: 9.5%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Why is the Grim Reaper holding a mailbox? Well, that mailbox is from a dead Dark Horse beer. The Grim Reaper better known as “Death” was quite fond of our classic Sapient Summer Wheat Ale. When we changed it into a Belgian Style Triple, Death thought it would only be appropriate to bring something from that beer into this beer. SO he picked the mailbox, and we weren’t about to argue with him. You can say what you want about him, but that Death sure has a big heart. So anyway…we brewed this beer with a Trappist yeast strain so it is very traditional. The flavors are incredibly complex with notes of mild fruit and finishes with a bit of clove. Although this beer is higher in alcohol it is very smooth and finishes dry on the palate.”

Random: I like the label art on this one. It’s one of the better ones from Dark Horse.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy orange with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of orange, peach and apricot with some yeast and spice. So far, so good. The taste was really bready, like a yeasty biscuit, but maintained its brightness with notes of golden fruit, specifically peach and apricot. There was spice present in the form of coriander, but it was not intense. It had some sweetness as well. The booze was well-hidden, making this a dangerous brew. The body had medium thickness with high carbonation, which made this very drinkable. I picked this up at Half Time for $3.39 for the twelve ounce bottle, which put the price per ounce at $.28, which is more on the expensive side. Despite this, I found it to be a very enjoyable beer that I would search out.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Dark Horse One Oatmeal Stout

This was the second beer that I had at Good Dog. It’s part of the Dark Horse stout series. After this one, I only have one more beer in their stout series to complete the set. Let’s see how this one went. Again, I apologize for the crappy pictures.


ABV: 7%

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Number one in a series of five stouts produced to help ease you through the cold and grey midwestern winters. This beer is full bodied with hints of chocolate, roasted barley, coffee flavors and a nice creamy head.”

Random: I’m really not into this season of “Top Chef.” We keep watching it and it’s not all that good.

This brew poured with a one finger, tan head into a tulip glass. The head dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black colored body. Due to the darkness in the bar, I couldn’t see any carbonation through the dark body. The nose was toasty with notes of dark chocolate, roasted malts and smoke. The body was light for the style, but had strong flavors of dark chocolate and oatmeal and espresso. It was nicely bitter. The body, as I mentioned, was thin for the style with light carbonation that I think could have been dialed up. It had a long finish with smoke and espresso. Despite my qualm with the body being very thin, I thought this was a really nice beer. It’s definitely worth trying, but since it’s only released in October, you may have to wait until next year.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout

So, a few weeks ago, the other half and I got engaged. I didn’t know the other half was going to ask and was pretty surprised. So, in addition to trying to find a house, we’re now going to be planning a wedding. Since we’re both control freaks, this should be a lot of fun. I sent her a picture this week of a couple lining up like a football team with their wedding party for a picture. That got immediately vetoed much like this beer did when I offered her a sip. Let’s see if I liked it more than she did.


ABV: 7%

Style: Smoked Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Number Four – Brewed with all malted barley and peat malt (smoked malt). This beer is full bodied with chocolate, roasted barley flavors, and a smokey almost BBQ finish.”

Random: After this one, I just need to try One Oatmeal Stout and Plead The Fifth Imperial Stout to finish the series.

This brew poured with a thick, one finger light brown head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was almost black with lots of carbonation visible. The nose was smoky with oak and cocoa with some espresso. The taste was exactly like the nose. There was smoke, but not as much as I expected. Dark chocolate and espresso with toasted malt came through as well. It was pretty bitter, but very enjoyable. The body was smooth and thick with high carbonation. The finish was long with espresso and smoke. For $3.39 a bottle, this wasn’t a bad price. My only complaint was that it needed a bit more smoke to it, especially being branded as a smoked stout.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Dark Horse Too Cream Stout

I picked this brew up from one of my favorite Pennsylvania beer stores, The Craft Beer Outlet. It’s on the outskirts of Philly and we stopped on the way to a Memorial Day party in Fishtown. We needed to buy a six-pack of beer and I picked up some review beer as well. This one happened to be on the sale rack (you can see the price on the brightly colored tag) and was originally released in November. Let’s see if it was still good.


ABV: 7.5%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Number Two – This beer is made with milk sugar (lactose) which gives this beer a nice creamy mouth feel which mingles with hints of chocolate and roasty flavors.”

Random: I only have one more beer of this series to find. I have a feeling that I will have to wait until October, since that’s when it will next be released.

This brew poured with a two finger tan head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was an inky, dark brown color that was almost black. There was no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was more complex than I was used to for a milk stout. It had the expected lactose and roasted malts. There was also milk chocolate, coffee and a bit of cookie dough as well. The taste was just as good. I got lactose and coffee along with milk and dark chocolate. One of the flavors that I got that wasn’t apparent in the nose was smoke. The alcohol was hidden as well. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. It had a long and roasty finish with chocolate and lactose. I was pleasantly surprised by the beer and it was definitely would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale

I love Dark Horse beers. It’s a shame that they aren’t distributed to New Jersey. This is the seventh beer that I’ve tried from them. Let’s see how this one goes.


ABV: 6.5%

Style: English Brown Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The Boffo Brown ale is a beer that we brewed years ago and then put it in semi retirement for a couple years while we focused on other brands at the brewery. We have recently put it back onto active duty and are brewing it all year. The beer itself is delicious and is a favorite to many of us here at the brewery. Just as most of our beers it’s on the ‘full body’ scale pushing the envelope of what an American Brown Ale is to most people. The beer is a very deep/dark color of brown with a nice creamy tan head. The mouthfeel of the beer is very soft and is very drinkable. Flavors of malt, caramel, toffee, and a mild earthy nutty finish allow this beer to be paired with hearty food and sips of bourbon.”

Random: The Phillies managed to lose again today in extra innings. They’re doing extra awful this year.

This brew poured with a one finger, cream-colored head that dissipated rather quickly and left no lacing on the pint glass. The body was a really dark brown, almost porter-like with very little carbonation visible due to the color. The nose was really fragrant with chocolate and caramel malt notes. Some brown sugar and vanilla came through when the beer warmed. The taste was very much like the nose. There was big chocolate followed by caramel malt and some breadiness. There was also some toffee to it along with very slight nuttiness, especially given the style. It had a moderately long finish with some bitterness and nuttiness. There was also a bit of booze warming to it. This brew was one of the more interesting of the style that I’ve had and one I would definitely have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0