Dark Horse Brewing Co: Scotty Karate 1/14/2017

So we are just into the second week of 2017, and I am already sick (2017 is off to a fantastic start, isn’t it?).  Part of the challenges that I face as a beer blogger is maintaining a variety in terms of the styles of beer that I review- and when I get sick, that challenge becomes harder because there are some beer styles that I simply will not be able to taste because my senses are compromised (the pilsner I had in mind will have to wait).  So this week I decided to pick something bold with some assertive flavors and lots of alcohol (alcohol kills germs, right?).  This week I decided to taste Dark Horse Brewing Co’s Scotty Karate: their Scotch Ale that won a silver medal at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival.  Here’s the scoop:

Beer Name: Scotty Karate

Brewery: Dark Horse Brewing Co

Brewery Location: Marshall, MI

Beer Style: Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

ABV: 9.75%

IBU: 26

Appearance

Scotty Karate pours an opaque brown color, with a cream colored head that slowly fades over time (likely due to the high alcohol content).

scotty-karate

Aroma

The dominant aroma I picked up from this beer were caramel with hints of cherry in the background, as well as some notes of alcohol.

Taste & Aftertaste

This beer is rich, sweet, and thick with a lot of caramel as the dominant flavor.  I taste some notes of maraschino cherries in there too, which compliments the caramel really nicely.  I also detect some hints of smoke immediately after swallowing when I breathe out through my nose (emphasis on smoky- not burnt or ashy).  The alcohol is certainly present in the beer, but it’s not overbearing.  But at 9.75%, this beer will definitely sweep the legs after more than one pint (Karate Kid anyone? Anyone?).  There is a slight bitter/astringent aftertaste, but it’s far from a deal breaker.  The flavors of this beer continue to blend more and smooth out as it gets warmer  Overall, this beer has a great balance of flavors in that no one element of this beer dominates the others.

Overall Impressions

This is an excellent scotch ale and I can understand why this beer won a silver medal in its category at the 2007 GABF.  It’s boozy, but doesn’t hit you over the head with it, and the flavors are very well balanced with each other.  So when you’re sick like I am, and need a beer with bold flavors to help kill the germs and open up your nasal passages, a beer like Scotty Karate will certainly do the trick.

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