Holy Mackerel Mack In Black - Holy Mackerel Brewing

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Holy Mackerel Mack In BlackHoly Mackerel Mack In Black

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195 Ratings

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Ratings: 195
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 16.18%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Holy Mackerel Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 06-02-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 140
Reviews by SpecialK088:
Photo of SpecialK088
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

Dark black but more resembles that I just poured a coke than a beer, head is bright white and lingers a little while but not overly long and with no laceing

Rich malt and subtle more bitter fruit notes, somebrown sugar notes as well

Taste was a bit of a letdown, the fruit flavors really do not present themselves much at all and has more of a nutty undertone than anything other than a straight forward stout flavor. Some coffee flavors in the finish

Pretty thin for a stout but not to bad on the carbonation and balance, the mouthfeel is honestly a little dead.

Ok to drink and in a blind taste might do pretty well but to put that it is brewed with a certian juice in it really makes me look for some flavors that really never present themselves

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.62/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

So we are dealing with a straight up extreme beer here. Not only is it fermented with pomegranate juice, but this is also an Imperial Black Ale.

Yeah, it's black and it does don an OK lace. Decent head retention, thin tan lacing seems to hold its own long enough to get by. Slight tart note in the aroma from the fermented pomegranate and dark malt, vague chocolate as well. At second whiff there is a mild butter and ester tone in the nose. Pomegranate leaves an odd tartness which melds with the slight roast to form a mild astringent-like flavor. Hops are minimal and let the alcoholic esters and malt sweetness run rampant. The alcohol does reach higher with a quick flash of solvent that comes off as rose-like. Dries with an astringent, burnt flavor that the palate just can't shake.

While we appreciate the concept of going down the road of "extreme," Mack In Black seems to miss its mark with throwing balance and drinkability totally out the window.

Photo of Aaron420
3.02/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Poured a dark black with a tan almost brown two finger head that dissipated quickly.

S: Very fruity with a slight hint of alcohol.

T: A mix of malty and fruity with with almost a touch of coffee in the beginning. AS the beer warms up the fruit becomes over bearing.

M: It is a very light bodied beer for suck a deep color. With a decent amount of carbonation.

D: Defiantly would not sit down and drink to many of these, they have a pretty high abv, but also a very sweet flavor. A really cool concept but nothing I will keep stocked in the fridge.

Photo of Tabni
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought bottle at Total Wines. 2009 Bottle. Tried this before at Stage 84 on the tap, and it was a totally different experience.

Appearance - Dark like the night, small head.
Smells - of pomegranate all over.
Taste/Mouthfeel - is just like a coffee chocolate meets pomegranate! Sweet hints, super sweet in the bottle.
Drinkability - Dessert drink.

Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2009 vintage, poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very dark reddish brown, but looks nearly black in the glass. Starts with a thin tan head but this disappears quickly, leaving only a thin ring and virtually no lacing.

The aroma is primarily that of fruit and toasted malt with more than a hint of pomegranate> There is also hints of hops and yeast. Smells sweet

The taste is flavorful, with pomegranate juice quite evident, although, of course, I am expecting this. If I wasn't, I might suspect some mix of fruits, including prunes, in with a generous amount of roasted malt and some hops. In any case, the finish has a definite prune component, and has become sour and a little bitter after the initial sweet hit. High ABV is largely hidden.

M - smooth; medium body; could use more carbonation as this would reduce the (undesirable for me) syrupy feel.

O - flavorful, unique, interesting but ultimately not very appealing.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)
thanks to SincereNc for this brew
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a thin creamy head of chocolate brown foam that last for a moment. The only sign of carbonation are some small bubbles stuck to the sides of the glass.

S- The aroma of black roasted coffee malt is dark and earthy with a big finish of purple berries.

T- The smooth chocolate malt flavor gives way to some roasted black malt notes with hints of chalk and charcoal to follow. There is a slight tart berry flavor in the finish. As the beer warms a bit there is a chocolate nougat with some tootsie roll qualities and a coffee flavor that comes through. The tartness of berries and bitterness of roasted black malt linger a bit after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat until the beer warm.

D-This is an interesting beer with good dark malt flavors. The pomegranate tartness is a bit out of place and makes it taste like cough syrup when the beer warms a bit. Good concept for a brew.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy Mackerel- Mack in Black

Big thanks to tpd975(Greg) for this 1!

A- Dark black with a big thick tan head that quickly dissipates.
S- Roasted coffee beans, slight sweet dried fruit aroma, possibly cherry. Chocolate dominates.
T- Sweet smooth chocolate with slight roasted black coffee. A tint of cherry/ pomagranite.
M- Sweet up front with creamy smooth, and slighly dry, coffee/ chocolate finish.

Overall- Very nice cocoa/ coffee/ fruit blend. Very good, a bit sweet though.(Thanks Greg!)

Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Oakes bottle, brought from Florida. I liked its roastiness and smokiness, not the addition of pommegrant juice. Its black with a white head. It has a sour finish.OK for a stout, not up there and even thinish for an imperial stout. Lose the pom and its an OK stout.

Photo of dirtylou
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz single - no memory of which BIF this came from but as secret santa and secret blackie approach, the "cellar fridge" needs some cleaning

appearance: pours pretty dark into an unmarked chalice, opaque body, pretty lifeless head with very minimal lacing

smell: burnt malts, molasses, notes of some artificial sweetness (i guess thats the pomegranate)

taste: heavy malts, syrupy cola, very roasty. its hard to make out pomegranate specifically, but theres some thick sweetness present. char and burnt malt, chocolate, licorice. an odd creation here - nothing i would want to have again but interesting

mouthfeel: thick and sludgy, charred and very heavy

drinkablity: not great

Photo of cjgator3
2.2/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

2008 listed on the bottle. This is an "Imperial Black Ale" brewed with pomegranate juice and a Belgian yeast strain. 12oz bottle. Pours a dark black color with a light tan head. The aroma is dark roasted malts with a fruitiness (from the pomegranate juice). The taste is dark and roasty, with a sour finish with a strong boozy finish. They sweet and sour nature of the taste combined with the strong boozy finish make this beer undrinkable for me resulting in a drain pour. I can count on one hand how many times I have poured out a beer before finishing it, and this is one of them. Don't know if I got a bad bottle or what, but I could not stomach the taste. Overall, I was not really impressed by Mack in Black and would not purchase again.

Photo of tempest
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An imperial black ale, huh? Well right off the bat I can at least see similarities between this and black lager for the big chocolate flavors. The beer also pours a pitch black body with a short tan head. The aroma and flavor are really about chocolate. That's great if you're into chocolate, but this beer doesn't offer much else besides a slight acidic tang from the pomegranates.

Enjoy a good bar of chocolate? Check this out.

Photo of ImusBeer
4.28/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass straight down the middle and about a finger and a half of nice tan head formed after it was fully poured. It died down in less than 5 minutes to only a ring around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is predominately sourness of the pomegranate juice and a hint of pepper I think. The first mouthfull was intially the pomegranate and then worked into mainly roasted malts. A little peppery at the aftertaste. Due to the juice it is hard to realize that this beer is 8%.

The mouthfeel is a little syrupy and sour due mostly to the pomegranate juice. I'll be cellaring the other 3 beers for a later time. Maybe after I'll have another in about 6-8 months. I think it will mellow out a bit more and the flavors will become a bit less harsh.

I like this beer, may even get another 4 pack.

I think this beer is the same beer I purchased while in Melbourne, FL visiting my parents. I bought two bottles (along with others) at the old Indian River Brewing Company (part of Florida Beer Company http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/161)


Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours ebony with a pinky of mocha colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit & dark chcolate in copious amounts

T: Dark fruit & dark chcolate, plus some charred grain (not a lot) up front. More of the same as this warms, a touch of booze as well, dryness & lots of prunes too. Finishes dry with chocolate covered prunes & raisins, mayba touch of sourness, plus just some herbal hops

MF: Medium bodied, restrained carbonation, balances pretty fruitty

Drinks pretty easy, the complexity & dryness slow me down, maybe would better in cooler weather? Given it origins, I would think you'd need the AC down low in Fla to fully enjoy this, nice effort!

Photo of beerhan
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Only had about 4 oz of this bottle and that was probably enough.

Pours bitch black with almost no head. Smells a bit like licorice and coffee flavoring. Very thick and syrupy. Tastes like a watered down kahlua. Not really much going on here. There is no pomegranate at all. Overall a very rich and thick beer that is not that fun to drink. The booze is hidden well but that's not too important. Not really worth seeking out but if it's there try it.

Photo of KTCamm
3.11/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my parent's Outback bowl beer glass. Mix/six pick up at Total Beer & Wine.

Pours pitch black (midnight) with full layer of tan foam. Stickiness on the side. Oaty nose. Roasted too. Chocolate taste with a tart fruit note between the layers - assume that is the pomegranate. Smokiness. More tart than bitter, but some of that too.

I guess this is considered "extreme" - its really all over the place, sometimes it works, sometimes not. Give credit for being different!

Photo of Samp01
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown / black with a small tan head. Aroma of coffee, dark malts, and some cacao. Taste is of coffee, dark roasted malts, caramel, slight hint of licorice, dark fruits, light bitter hops. Palate is full bodied, creamy, and oily. Finish is smooth and creamy, can taste the pomegranate. Overall this is a nice and smooth drinking brew very enjoyable.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.24/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

- An imperial black ale brewed with pomegranate juice.

A: From the bottle poured a thick viscose engine oil color with a fizzy flat ½ finger nutmeg colored head that quickly dissipated to a bare polished surface with no lacing was left upon its demise.

S: The nose was perhaps the beers best feature displaying dark roasted barley with freshly ground coffee beans that was moderately strong. Not much pomegranate juice or hoppiness was detected beyond the dark roasted aroma but none the less was still pleasing.

T: The flavor was dark roasted barley with light dried creamer notes and tart pomegranate juice all of which made for an odd flavor and combination. Fresh tomatoes (im guessing from the pomegranate juice) and a light basil hopping is also present as well signs of dark ripe fruit (prunes). The beer progresses to a tart lemony juice flavor that thins out the dark roasted malting finishing off with a watery thin roasted coffee fade that wasn't nearly as impressive as the start. My parting shot would be it seems the addition of the pomegranate juice seemed to work only as a gimmick and odd ball ingredient, hurting rather then helping the overall flavor and would of faired much better if left out completely. The pomegranate thins out a nice deep roasted flavor and thins out the mouthful as well and does more by subtraction then addition.

M: light, a bit thin and watery from the presence of the pomegranate juice lacking substance. The carbonation was fizzy while a light chalkiness and earthy burnt bitterness is left behind on the swallow.

D: Average drinkability at best and average enjoyment going down. Definitely lacks incentive for repeatability or future purchases. Overall this beer started out with some promise but thins out at the finish hardly leaving you any impression of what could have been.

Photo of emerge077
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle courtesy of EvilKeith, we opened 2 of these at Ludachris' summer bbq. Odd yet cool label of what I assume was a mackerel covering AC/DC.

Poured black with not much in the way of a head, thin ring and no lace. Didn't use a large glass, and it was rinsed. Inky black, the bubbles at the edge looked tan. Sweet and roasty aroma, some hints of oxidation.

Tart like an infected stout or porter, yet the pomegranate juice must be at work here. Dark coffee & chocolate notes, licorice, overshadowed by the bitter, tart fruit. Kind of prickly mouthfeel, strange combination. A little slick also. One generous pour was enough for me, probably won't seek this out, but it was unique to try. Thanks Keith!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.77/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Secret Santa: Poured a pitch black color ale with a bubbly dark head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma is somewhat vinous with distinctive pomegranate juice which provides a weird offset to the roasted malt. Taste is also a weird mix between some roasted malt with some notes of pomegranate and no discernable hops. Full body with medium to low carbonation and no distinctive alcohol. A very interesting and unique experiment which I am glad I tried but not necessarily something I would seek out on a regular basis.

Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew courtesy of DmanGTR.

A: Very dark black in color with a very slight ruby hue when held to the light. Small amount of tan head on top that quickly fades into a ring around the edges.

S: A lovely dark malt syrup smell comes out right away. Nice roasted grain smell, and a sweet fruity sting from the pomegranate.

T: Lovely dark grains producing a roasty bitterness, followed by a very sweet berry and chocolate flavor. It is almost too sweet. Almost. A very interesting beer.

M: Smooth and syrupy. Mouthfeel is on the thicker side of medium. Carbonation is low but works with the style.

D: Nice, and a good change of pace beer. I certainly couldn't do a whole night of them though. Thanks again DmanGTR!!

Photo of BeerSox
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Pitch black with a two finger light brown dense head. The head eventually settles to a thick cap.

An interesting mix of smoke, burnt malts, plum, and a bit of spicy alcohol.

The flavor is a cross between bitter malts and a sweet chocolate overtone. The hops come in toward the end to add a little bit of a citrus flavor. Full bodied.

An interesting beer, and not bad, but it seems like the flavors clash more than they collaborate. Worth a try.

Photo of EgadBananas
2.07/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2009 Vintage.

Looks pretty good. Thick, black, with a nice dark tan head. Good stops there really. Now, there is a great stout-like beer in here: roasted malts, nice chocolate, and coffee in the taste and the aroma...it's pleasant. But...you have to cut through this ridiculous sweet, slightly tart pomegranate taste and aroma. It just doesn't work with the stout qualities. I think maybe it would work better in lower doses, but as it sits, it's too overwhelming and disrupts the vibe here. Oddities aside, the feel is not bad, medium, good carbonation. Overall though, this just wasn't very appealing.

Photo of JAA
2.93/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is mindblowing. Pour Jet-black with a dense one-finger dark tan head. Bought at Sarasota Total Wine, but I've seen Holy Mackerel stuff at Publix and Norman's liquors.

I would venture to say that this beer didn't need the pomegranate juice to make it notable. Smells crazy, like licorice and dark cherries, along with bitter chocolate.

Tastes much like it smells. Very chocolaty, dark fruits and more bitter chocolate in the finish. It's a quite complicated and a really flavorful beer coming from a little known brewery on the east coast of Florida.

The pomegranate juice is a bit out of place, but the beer has a solid foundation that makes it enjoyable to drink. 8% ABV.

Edit: alright, i'm getting near the end of the glass and this pomegranate juice is getting pretty gross.

Second edit: yeah, it's quite tough drinking a whole bottle. The juice is too strong. It's a shame because the taste the beer behind the juice is phenomenal.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had been unsure whether or not to purchase this one for a while now, but I just got one as an extra, so situation solved and away we go with being able to try this one. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 06/25/2009.
The pour was very nice. Rich dark black with light reddish highlights peaking around the sides. The nice towering head of tan came up and over the top of the glass with much ease, only barely settling down as the night went on. Monster look to it and I have to admit I was quite impressed. The aroma was loaded with roasted malts, hints of dark fruity notes and a nice hint of cocoa. Smooth, silky taste was excellent across the board. I was surprised by the nice little hop kick this one had in the back as well. Rich, almost a light prune like flavor coming through now as the richness of it. The abv was all but absent for me to be honest, and this went down much quicker then I ever would have thought.
Overall I am really impressed here. I did not think it was going to be nearly as good as it was and it has peaked my interest enough to get me to go after a couple more of their offerings. This is a winner in my book.

Photo of blackie
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a burnt-khaki head that soon recedes and shows low retention, the beer is nearly black in color

s: black malt body with some dark and milk chocolate syrup and coated dark fruits, nice pomegranate juice aroma compliments the malts, seems a bit phenolic when colder but that may just be the pomegranate, interesting sweet-sour interplay that I may or may not enjoy, a touch of that Belgian yeast, comes across a touch artificial at times but overall pretty good, hops at a minimum

m: low-medium carbonation and a medium, a little dull

t: black malts and a building roast dominate, pomegranate makes a nice showing, finishes with a lingering roast and dark chocolate fruits, interesting

d: somewhat limited, was pretty put off by the samples of the HM Golden I've had at a couple beerfests, but this was pretty good

bottle from Team Beverage Raleigh

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Holy Mackerel Mack In Black from Holy Mackerel Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.