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Black Crack - Southern Star Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black CrackBlack Crack

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

225 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 225
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 12.68%
Wants: 31
Gots: 68 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Southern Star Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.25% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: lokieman on 03-13-2013

Aged in Bourbon barrels, this specialty will have all of the rich malt flavor of its' base beer, our Buried Hatchet Stout, complimented by a caramel, woody sweetness and vanilla notes from prolonged contact with American Oak. Dark tobacco, medium char and hints of the original Bourbon make this hard to find release a real treat.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 225 | Reviews: 21
Reviews by zonker17:
More User Reviews:
Photo of EgadBananas
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown color, looks somewhat thin, small light brown head, dissipates quickly. The aroma hits you kinda hard at first with bourbon and booze, mellows out a bit though bringing up some chocolate and roast, but not much coffee, unlike normal buried hatchet. The taste isn't near as boozy as the nose, and really opens up with some strong chocolate, vanilla and oak, mild bourbon, and roasted oak. Despite the thin look, it had a nice fullness, with a good creamy texture.

Though a little messy, its a treat in the end, very glad to get to try it.

Photo of TBoneJones
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I saw this alone in the chiller a major craft brew retail store near me. The $11.99 tag intrigued me, especially since this was a local beer I had never seen before. With such a huge cost for a bottle, I had to see what was up. The guy at the checkout reaffirmed my decision, displaying enthusiasm having tried it himself.
Poured an almost-black, has a nice but finger-thick head. Lacing looks nice.
This smells powerful, but of great stuff like chocolate, licorice and dark fruit (cherry) assaulting my nose off the bat. The milk chocolate dominates, it's a burnt choco smell (due to the alcohol), but in a robust Tootsie Roll/ root beer float type of way...and then I remember that this is bourbon barrel aged, realize the unique notes are due to this...and now I can't wait to taste this.
Taste follows suit. Complex I can tell right away. The bourbon flavor presents itself, the chocolate is now back seat and more sharply flavored (due to the barrelling) and yet it finishes sweetly. Somewhat thinner than I expected, compared to other stouts I've enjoyed. Dark fruit touches with all of that other flavoring reminds me of a brandy, based on the overall sensation. This is 8.5% abv. according to the label, however it seems higher, at least at first it does. But it's great because this is a beer, not barrel aged liquor. Barrel works wonders. Creamy and smooth as it warms, yet earthy, and a bit more dry finishing as well.
To me, the sum of each part/ flavor, equals one unique whole success. Highly recommended. Hard to find im told, but if you can, pick one up, or two for that matter. I wonder what age would do.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle pours black but doesnt seem as viscous as the regular Buried Hatchet. Dense tan head is decently sized and displays average retention, very little lace.

Nose is a delectable combination of bourbon, coconut, chocolate and vanilla. Superb.

Wow, the barrel treatment really did some wonderful things to this one...adds a woody, vanilla flavor that is the perfect compliment to the liquid chocolate that is Buried Hatchet. The hops are more tame which works to the beer's advantage too. Mouthfeel is nice...and the ABV is low enough to make this damn near chuggable...actually it might benefit from a 1-1.5% increase in alcohol to add to the complexity. Love it...I sure hope they do this again.

Photo of Bluestar
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 1 pint, 0.9 oz (what a weird size) into a dogfish head signature glass...

A - Very dark brown, little to no head. with a swirl of the beer I can get a very small khaki coloured head that clings to the glass. Very viscous on the pour

S - dark, unsweetened chocolate dominates for me, followed by faint bourbon, buttery, and vanilla notes... interesting combination. Not a typical barrel aged stout at all.

T - bourbon and roasty flavors dominate. Background is some oak and buttery flavours. The dark cholocolate almost disappeared here....

M - undercarbonated. Thin. This is about the only area that needs some improvement. Very viscousy mouthfeel.

O - Very drinkable, but very different barrel aged stout. A very nice effort. Definitely feel like the ABV is higher than the label would leave you to believe. Would like to try aging a bottle, however the one bottle limit (after 1/2 a dozen stores hunting to find it), will not allow me to do this.

I hope they brew more.

Photo of HipCzech
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

Serving: 500 mL bottle poured into a stemmed pilsener (beer tulip) glass (2014 release).

Appearance: Very deep, dark brown with a bubbly tan head. A slight layer of foam lingers and leaves good lacing.

Smell: Deeply roasted malts, toffee, vanilla, prunes, slight alcohol and some barrel funk.

Taste: Roasted malt with flavors of coffee, bitter chocolate, and sweet caramel. Bourbon barrel hints throughout, but never rise to the forefront.

Mouthfeel: Silky feel with medium body and light carbonation.

Overall: A bit thinner and flat compared with canned Buried Hatchet, and a bit mellower in overall flavor, but a pleasant sipper with subtle bourbon influences.

Photo of MsLiberty
5/5  rDev +22%

The name is fitting for this beer. Buried Hatchet is my fave go to beer and this just kicks it over the top. If you like stouts GET IT.

Photo of champ103
2.99/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I have had this several times now, and have never put my review down. I guess I was trying to save it for a good bottle, but every time I have this I am disappointed.

A: Pours a dark brown color. A minimal, bubbly beige head forms. That recedes in a second with no lace.
S: Roasted, cereal grains and burnt toast. The barrel character takes over next. Wood, vanilla, fusel alcohol is strong and lingering.
T: Roasted and buttery malt with a big burnt toast flavor. The barrel takes over with wood and vanilla. Harsh alcohol lingers. Everything here is just abrasive and nothing intermingles well.
M/D: Way to light of a body for the amount of barrel and alcohol coming through. Thin and and lifeless. Not easy to drink. I just don't like how this comes together, let alone the alcohol. I have had much more alcoholic beers, drink much easier.

Having had several bottles, I am not impressed. Looking back at my review for the Anvil Bourbon Buried Hatchet, it just seems all the nueances are gone here. I am not a fan of the malt character, body, or the harsh alcohol here. Don't know what happened?

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Bottle opened on 8.28.14

Coffee, bourbon, coffee. Drinks very smooth and easy.

Photo of fatmcb1
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh bottle poured into a Russian River Belgian glass.

Pours dark brown with a khaki head. Light spotted lacing

You can immediately tell this was in the barrel for awhile. Charred oak and vanilla. The malt base is chocolaty and roasty. Excellent.

Taste follows the nose. The barrel character dominates. The malt base is very sweet, with little to no hop presence. Also, it is a little warm with noticeable considering the listed ABV is 8.25%.

Unfortunately, this is very thin for a stout. Carbonation is on the lighter side of medium.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer. The nose is amazing and the bourbon character is top notch. However, I wish it had a thicker body. Also, the regular buried hatchet is listed at 8.25% ABV. It is hard to believe this sat in a barrel for a year and a half and didn't pickup more alcohol. Tastes closer to 10%.

Photo of Beerzebub
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coffee brown color, minimal beige head but looks good in the glass.

Delicious aroma, nutty, caramel, brown bread crust, some subtle barrel character but hardly any explicit bourbon. A bare touch of oxidization adds complexity.

Tastes good - caramel malt, nuts, some bourbon. Good balance between medium sweetness, mild roastiness, and wood. Nutty finish. Again, a controlled oxidative note adds some nice extra depth and complexity. Unusual for a stout, tasting (and looking) more like a delicious barrel aged brown ale, on the big side.

At first some fizziness throws off the texture and makes it seem slightly watery, but plenty of swirling to reduce the carbonation reveals a silky and luxurious texture.

Nice beer, good iteration of the delicious base beer. Thanks, Daniel!

Photo of Labeorphile
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 ounce bottle into a pint glass. Extremely dark, almost completely opaque with some slight hints of ruby when the light hits just right. Thick tan head with lots of lacing.

Lots of toffee and bourbon in the nose, very pleasant. A hint of burnt toast, but not in a bad way.

Definitely toffee up front, some vanilla, giving way nicely to the bourbon. A really well put together flavor combination. The mouth is a little thin for style, but at the suggestion of another reviewer, I swirled the beer in the glass between sips and this really seemed to make a difference.

A great beer that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Photo of wogreen
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - chocolate brown, very viscous
S - you can definitely smell the boubon when you lift the bottle
T- rich chocolatey malt flavor, with a sweet hint of coconut
M - feels thin and a bit sticky, but overall very pleasant for a stout

A great take on the Bourbon barrel stout. The little hint of sweet really speaks to me as a southerner.

Photo of EGreen
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma seems rather flat: slight oakiness, mild nuttiness. Flavor is a lot better. Toffee starts but is quickly overwhelmed by the bourbon. Slight booziness on the finish and finishes slightly dry with a nice lingering mild bitterness. The bourbon is definitely the star of this beer and is quite enjoyable.

Photo of joeyfeets
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Bourbon Barrel version of Southern Stars Buried Hatchet Stout. The base beer is a solid stout but the year & a half spent in a barrel takes this brew over the top! It pours completely black with a distinct toffee & bourbon aroma. It tastes of malt & vanilla that gives way to smooth bourbon. Very drinkable & not overpowering like some bourbon barrel brews. The original beer had hints of chocolate that I cant pickup anymore though. Despite that, Black Crack is a big improvement over Buried Hatchet. If you ever have a chance, get your hands on one.

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lightly chilled 16.9 oz bottle split between 33cl snifters. Picked up a bottle on a lark after seeing a couple arguing over whether or not purchasing six would be excessive- apparently a number of stores have a bottle limit, although the one I was at did not.

Look- Pours a deep, deep brown. Completely opaque in the glass, the pour indicates to me that it's murky, but with something this dark, who cares? Finger and a half of dense toasted marshmallow head that falls fairly quickly to a centimeter or so of loose bubbles that actually persists for a while.

Smell- Full, nutty, maple, vanilla, caramel, strong slightly-burnt biscuit. Not particularly sweet, but still comes across as liqueur-like. Significant bourbon character, but I wouldn't say it's what I would call boozy.

Taste- Follows the aroma, with a stronger milk chocolate feel and a bold oaky tannic character. Fresh brownies, salted caramel, maple syrup, whole vanilla bean, char. Surprisingly non-aggressive roasty flavors. Heavy cream and buttered popcorn in the background, but low-level and seemingly fitting rather than offensive. Again, bourbon influenced but not aggressively so.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, light-medium for the style, although Buried Hatchet isn't a particularly hefty brew and I don't think they tweaked it for this. Light-medium carbonation; the dregs in the bottle make me think this was bottle-conditioned in addition to the aging. I'd have liked a bit more carbonation, but it's a smooth easy drinker nonetheless.

Overall- Never had anything quite like it. It's not mind-blowing, but it's unique, and if it were slightly cheaper and more readily available this would be a go-to beer for me, and I'm not all that enamored with the normal buried hatchet. Definitely Recommended.

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black bodied with a fluffy light brown head that retains well.

Flavor is really nice imparting all sorts of barrel goodies with vanilla and bourbon. Caramel sweetness and roasty chocolatey stout.

Body is medium and drinks really smooth with medium carbonation.

Photo of tjmodica
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle

Dark brown with a very thin khaki head, Southern Star nailed the color. Roast malts, hot chocolate brownies fresh from the oven, nutty, vanilla, faint bourbon, I could smell this all night. Taste is even better light roast coffee, light caramel, velvety smooth bourbon, and candied pecans. The mouthfeel is very very smooth. This taste like a buried hatchet aged to perfection in bourbon barrels, the barrels complement and add to the base beer in a way that makes this very special. Outstanding job.

Photo of lokieman
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle

A: Dark brown, similar to regular Buried Hatchet. Wouldn't say it's "black" but very dark and retains about a half inch of mocha head.

S: Bourbon, oak, sweet malts, coffee, roast and toffee

T: Follows the nose nicely. More of the roast coffee with big but not huge bourbon notes. Nice malty sweetness sticks with you through every drink. Nice

M: Creamy milk like texture similar to the regular Buried Hatchet but overall I'd say it's on the thin side for a stout

O: Different from any ba stout I've had before. I love the regular Buried Hatchet and I'm not sure if this is really an improvement on the original but I like it a lot. A little odd at first but after a few sips I was into it. Glad they bottled this...

Photo of zander4dawin
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%

Jet black. Heavy coffee, chocolate notes, oaky bourbon on the finish and a smooth buttery taste considering the ABV.

Photo of inlimbo77
3.32/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle
February '13
Town Hall tulip

A: Pours out brown. Thinner than expected. Nice layer of light tan head. Leaving some sticky lacing bits. Heads sticks around a while.

S: Little buttery. Maybe some diactyl. Pulling away from the barrel aging vanilla and oak I was expecting. Smells like buttered popcorn. Then you get some roast. Maybe some coffee and chocolate. Butterscotch. Upset that unlike the reviews I see below, I have a different result (as did the TX sender of this bottle who also got the butterscotch nose).

T: Nice bitterness on tip of tongue. Getting that buttery flavor again. Butterscotch. Roasted flavor is still there, but the vanilla and chocolate and barrel isn't there at all with the flaws. Dry finish.

M: Full bodied, but not overly thick. Lots of carbonation. Easy to drink.

Photo of stormcooper
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Buried Hatchet Stout is a great beer to start. I can only imagine this is why Black Crack is about as elusive as the Sasquatch. This is everything you'd want from a barrel-aged stout. Nice and earthy with a malty and buttery finish. If you can find it, it will rock your face off. It reminds me of the Saint Arnold Bishop's Barrel #1, but better.

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Black Crack from Southern Star Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 225 ratings.