1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Blackhorse - Great Grains Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
no score

6 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 6
Reviews: 6
rAvg: 2.81
pDev: 29.89%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Grains Brewery, Inc.
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  ABV ?

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-27-2002)
View: Beers (0) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6 | Reviews: 6 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GreenCard:
Photo of GreenCard


2.5/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

16 oz bottle purchased from an H-E-B in Austin, Texas.

Appearance: dark brown, cloudy for a lager (but it's unfiltered, so it's forgiven), pours with a thick tan head which fades within 60 seconds, lots of big bubbles cover the glass at first

Aroma: not much, a bit of coffee-like roastiness and some tartness

Flavor: a toasty/biscuity dark malt flavor strikes first, then followed by a slight sourness unrelated to the dark grains or malts, low hop flavor or bitterness, finishes fast and dry with a slight rise in the bitterness (not hop-related) at the end like a little crescendo. The progression is roughly: toasty/biscuity --> weird tanginess --> a twinge of hop flavor --> return of the tang --> bitter crescendo

Mouthfeel: tight carbonation, medium body, a lot of astringency

*Note*: My opinion is that this beer had some kind of infection. In reading the other reviews and having tasted another of their beers, it certainly could be true that the beers are brewed like this since there are so many occurances. However, I still maintain that it is indeed some kind of bacterial contamination for these reasons: 1) the label on the bottle doesn't mention an overt tartness; 2) infection can often kill off a lot of the aroma in a beer, especially milder brews; 3) the tartness in the flavor was unrelated to malt acidity; 4) the slight bitterness in the finish felt different from a hop bitterness, it's quality was closer to that of some problem; 5) beer was overly astringent, can be another sign of bacteria. The only way to settle this is to ask the brewery. If we find out that the sourness was indeed intentional, I will edit my review.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2003 20:45:18 | More by GreenCard
More User Reviews:
Photo of Pegasus


2.08/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Deep, muddy brown in color, which allows light to pass through. Coloration is not as dark as any Schwarzbier that I have tried or homebrewed. Blackhorse sports a large, caramel-colored head, which retains well, and is flecked with sediment driven up from the abyssal depths of the glass by small but steady streams of carbonation.

Aroma: Rather tart, acidic aroma, with molasses, coffee, and bitter chocolate. As mentioned by other reviewers, the sour note utterly dominates the aroma.

Taste: The tart note present in the aroma is manifested as a puckering sour green apple note upfront in the taste. Beneath this there are decent flavors of bitter chocolate and coffee. I am made to think of a Granny Smith apple malt beverage with coffee and chocolate undertones. At the end of the taste, the coffee and chocolate notes finally become ascendant. Alas, alas, it is too little, too late. The green apple note, so often present in Great Grains beers, unfortunately ruins the taste of this beer.

Mouth feel: Rather watery for the style, with aggressive, soda-like carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: It is regrettable that this beer, and apparently all of Great Grains other beers suffer from some sort of production problem, which renders them subject to the sour green apple characteristic so often noted. Texas can boast of few craft breweries, so its all the worse when one of them seems unable to overcome a persistent flaw. Nonetheless, I finished the bomber. A beer is a terrible thing to waste.

Presentation: Packaged in a twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber with a pop-top crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2005 17:35:52 | More by Pegasus
Photo of assurbanipaul


1.95/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown with lots of active carbonation and a massive, foamy tan head. (Requires several pours over 10 minutes just to get a pint into a glass.) Very heavy sedimentation at the bottom of the bottle. Aroma of sweet malts, molasses, yeast and sick.

Initial taste is simply repulsive. Sweet, smokey dark malts with a punget, sour, fruit-gone-bad rottenness behind it. I would say the bottle is bad but it's the exact same flavor that runs through all Great Grains' beers.

The initial reaction wears off after a few sips, as I bravely press on. More normal flavors come out after a few minutes, maybe because my palate is saturated, maybe because some of the sick gets bubbled out with the carbonation. Elements of dark malts, a hint of coffee. Coffee with a slice of old granny smith apple floating in it.

Mouthfeel is light but excessively carbonated, on a par with soda. Faint aftertaste of chocolate and sour fruit. Might be halfway tolerable if you could get the taste of vomit out of it.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2004 02:36:53 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of kbub6f

New York

2.5/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), about a week in my fridge, reviewed 45F-60F.

The other two reviews for this beer suggest to me that maybe the Great Grains brews _go_ sour, as opposed to being brewed that way (check the reviews of the other Great Grains beers). So I have mixed feelings about posting this review. But I've now tried all of the Great Grains, Hill Country by GG and Yellow Rose by GG and they've all had the sour apples taste. Blackhorse too. So while the first two reviews prove that you could get lucky and find a good Blackhorse, my review warns that it's also possible you'll end up with just another sour GG.

Blackhorse has a big tan head that collapses slowly and noisily. This is the first GG I've had with a big head. There's some runny lacing. The beer is dark brown with some ruby highlights. By far the best looking GG.

There are lots of roasted grains in the nose, along with some chocolate and a slightly watery smell (a watery smell?). But the front is Sour! That's all. The middle is sour, with some grains peeping through. The finish is bitter with some strange industrial alcohol taste. The aftertaste is quite nice: roasted grains, a little cream, cocoa. As with other GGs, there are some very nice underlying notes of cream and chocolate. Add roasted grains for this one. And warmed up, it's not bad. The sour softens and tastes more like apples. I could definitely see this being GG's best. But I guess I'll have to drive up to Dallas and try it from the tank to convince myself there's more to these beers than meets the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2003 09:37:20 | More by kbub6f
Photo of AtrumAnimus


4.33/5  rDev +54.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark and cloudy brown with a thick and slow to shrink tan head. The nose is sharp and hoppy with just a hint of malt. There is some spiciness there too. The taste is nicely bodied with a good malty undertone. There is Citrus and bitterness with a nice smokiness to it as well. I really like this one. A rare find apparently too.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2003 16:24:10 | More by AtrumAnimus
Photo of Morris729


3.5/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very cool bottle design of a chessboard with a black knight with red eyes standing in the center. On the bottle, it states “Austin homebrewer Joelle Dewberry, who otherwise masquerades as a ‘conflicts resolution psychologist’ with an Austin law firm, topped the field of statewide entries in the Texas Beer Wizard 2000 Contest. Blackhorse is the debut of the championship formula, which has been carefully recreated by Great Grains Brewery and is being specially brewed for a limited time.” Pours a dark mahogany color with a thin tan colored head that quickly dissipates. Nose is sweet roasted malts and grains with notes of dark fruits. Tastes of coffee and malts come through in the flavor. Almost no hop bitterness is present. Not great, but one of the best brews from Great Grains Breweries.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2002 19:17:11 | More by Morris729
Blackhorse from Great Grains Brewery, Inc.
- out of 100 based on 6 ratings.