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RATINGS: 370   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 262   ABV: 8.75%
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A spiced Winter Warmer brewed with nutmeg, clove, allspice and other holiday flavors.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
gilvanblight (813) - Windsor, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 27, 2014
Very dark clear pour. Unique scent. Burnt taste. Raisins. Boozy. Burning. Spice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jefcon (1451) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - DEC 27, 2014
Dark fruit and lots of spices, but a pleasant, plummy and rich mouthfeel. Long and very balanced between sweet and dry.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mstrcrwly (436) - New York, USA - DEC 24, 2014
12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass..dark brown/burgundy with thin white head..aroma of nutmeg,cinnamon,cloves,pimento..spicy,complex taste..really good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ColovianTrader (383) - - DEC 24, 2014
Flavors of allspice, nutmeg and ginger jump out. Sugar cookies sweetness throughout. Hints of clove. Light malts throughout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1317) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 21, 2014
I like winter warmers, but it’s rare I have one that truly amazes me anymore. Dark Horse 4 Elf fortunately is one of the exceptions to that rule. It has the right spice palette in the right proportion and at the right strength for my preference. It definitely succeeds as a liquid Christmas cookie – and isn’t that what a winter warmer should be?

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 10/30/14 and cost $3.65 ($0.30 per ounce).

Appearance: Black, stout-like body with brown highlights. Pours to a two-finger, tan, frothy head which laces and retains very well.

Smell: Classic Christmas cookie spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, plus some Belgian-like dark fruit character.

Taste: Dark Horse 4 Elf is, admittedly, a bit simple of a brew. The spices dominate the palette, and there’s not much distinctiveness in the way of malts and hops. That being said, the actual taste of the beer is so delectable that I don’t even really care if it’s simplistic. There’s a Snickerdoodle-like sweetness right away. Akin to gingerbread, pumpkin bread or even banana bread. Light spice character tap dances on the tongue. It’s not until the second half when a rush of even stronger, spicier, almost herbal-like seasonings emerge that you realize how gentle the initial spice character is. An intense, almost smokey flavor creates for a dry spicy astringency. It’s so potent, in fact, that it can be felt in the sinuses afterwards (not unlike horseradish – but not to that extent). There’s a mild chocolate flavor lurking in the background as well as some mild dark fruits or fruit cake taste as well. These flavor combinations repeat after every swig and it never grows old. That’s what makes for an excellent brew.

Drinkability: I’m not sure the base brew style of this beer, though it appears to be a porter or some kind of dark/black ale. The mouthfeel is thicker than most winter warmers – but not thick, chewy and sticky and definitely not crisp. It has a soft, smooth texture and finish to match. The 8.75% ABV definitely creates for some gentle warmth, but at no point does Dark Horse 4 Elf drink or feel like a boozy sipping beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Alengrin (2815) - BELGIUM - DEC 21, 2014
A cold and gloomy December day seems like the perfect opportunity to open an American winter beer. This ale pours a very dark hazy chestnut brown colour, almost black, under a moussy and stable but rather thin, deep yellow beige head leaving good lacing. Strong aroma in which the ethereal, perfumey spices are immediately evident: cloves, aniseed and the nutmeg I use to season potato mash; other impressions of chocolate, cinnamon, orange peel, raisins, blueberries, bayleaf, mint, coffee grounds, orange peel, brown rhum, black pepper, gingerbread and ’speculoos’, dried leaves, old cookies. Taste begins immediately spicy, with sharpish peppery accents along with some candied fruits, banana, dried citrus peel; medium carbo, smooth and somewhat oily mouthfeel, pleasant caramelly and nutty malt sweetness, drying towards the finish, retronasal strong spiciness, aromatic, with a long and dry ending of roasted, black coffee-like bitterness, peppery and leafy hop bitterness, warming, gin-like alcohol and nutty malts. A very agreeable beer, which I would classify as a spiced Christmas ale in the Scotch legion, as there are still a lot around in Belgium in this time of the year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Mep3222 (700) - East Greenbush, New York, USA - DEC 20, 2014
Spicy malty aroma and flavor. Dark. Slight sweet finish. Full flavored. Not too spicy. Nice winter beer. Well done. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 8/20
Westchesterco (1238) - mclean, Virginia, USA - DEC 20, 2014
Poured from a bottle it is a dark brown with a slight head. The aroma is of cloves the taste is cloves and cinnamon and resonates strong on the palate

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Iphonephan (3921) - McLean, Virginia, USA - DEC 20, 2014
From a 12 oz bottle shared at home. Pours blaci with a tan head. Aroma of cinnamon and clove. Flavors of licorice and leather with lots of pie spice. Bitter finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ARH (707) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 19, 2014
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2014 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Clove notes accompany a toasty aroma initially which turns to fresh baked gingerbread rather quickly. Cookie and a biscuity cracker aroma poke through late and overtake the previous notes. It?s a deep, dark, and opaque cola red-brown color with an oily look (noticeable on the edges) and topped by a foamy soap, beige, moderate sized head. Snow drift lace is left on the glass with a thick, sudsy and uneven retention on the surface. The taste is a medium bitter and medium / medium light sweet. The beer is creamy and slightly sticky with an abundant, soft fizz cqrbonation and a medium full malty body. Notes of chocolate and cola hit the palate initially, followed by a roasty, biscuit-cracker, toasted gingerbread, and hints of caramel and nuts sneaking in late. There?s a bit of resin at the finish, but mostly a burnt, sugary, and syrupy flavor. Some malty, syrupy, burnt sugar notes linger with a strong roasty flavor in the aftertaste, but it mellows quickly and cleans up nicely leaving hints of gingerbread.

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