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Holy Mackerel Mack In Black - Holy Mackerel Brewing

Not Rated.
Holy Mackerel Mack In BlackHoly Mackerel Mack In Black

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191 Ratings

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Ratings: 191
Reviews: 138
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 16.18%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
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: 191 | Reviews: 138 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scifan
4.5/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an awesome beer. Found it this weekend and have been loving it. It pours pitch black with a tan head that quickly dissapates. Smells like coffee, and getting faint hints of something fruity, maybe from the belgian yeast strain used? Taste absolutely great. Lovely coffee and roasted barley flavors, and then a slightly cherry taste as an after thought. It's a little carbonated but, i'll overlook it. Truly an underrated beer.

Photo of gford217
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours dark, dark brown with ruby hints around the edges and with a small tan head that recedes quickly to a ring leaving no lacing. The smell is fairly sweet and with chocolate up front and hints of dark fruits and toasted grains. The taste follows the aroma with sweet chocolate and grains up front before the sweetness of the dark fruits takes over in the middle. The mouthfeel is very, very smooth and slick. This is a decent beer and fairly hard to categorize. Much better than the Special Golden for me.

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 maximum12
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to pepsican for throwing this unknown brewery & beer my way in a recent trade. I thought this would be the perfect thing to bridge the night between IPA & something dark & heavy.

Black beer, indeed. Smell is faint, dare I say, uh, non-existent. Never had a beer I couldn't smell before, even crappy ones smell like crap. How to rate something that barely exists? Odd. Tastes...odd...too. Dark fruits are dominant, along with a porter-esque flavor. Mostly just the fruits.

I'm kind of baffled by this beer. It's not bad. It's not good. It's OK. But the dance of fruit & beer isn't quite in sync, they keep stepping on each other's feet (& my tongue).


EDIT: the beer does improve as it warms, with the dominate fruit giving way to some chocolate notes & maybe even a touch of cherry. Much more palatable as it approaches room temp.

Photo of AMoceri7
3.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is probably one of the more unique beers that Ive had in my time. Where to start.

A: Easily one of the prettiest things Ive laid my eyes on. Pitch black with a 2 finger chocolate brownie head.

S: Not in your face roasty but you know whats to come. Not sure I expected what I smell. Distant chocolate roastiness with an even more faint sour fruitiness.

T: Definitely not what you would expect AT ALL. But after reading the label and realizing what I had bought, it makes complete sense. Roasty, chocolate, malty and a valentines day treat, chocolate covered fruits! Its like a consecutive rush one after another as it swirls around the palate. First roasted malts, then bitter chocolate, next is the tangy fruit accompanied by hops and finished with the famous alcohol warming sensation. By my count, this is far from balanced but a great approach none the less!

M: Not crazy about the carbonation, could be a tad lower but it works. This thing kicks.

D: Eh.. couldnt have more than one unless it was some sort of extravagant special occassion. In which I would probably just buy DFHs Palo Santo Marron over this anyday.

O: Awesome idea, but might want to work a little harder on making this one better the next time around.

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

So, an imperial black ale brewed with pommegranite juice? Wow, this is unusual.

A - pitch black with a nice tan head
S - roasted notes, dark sweet malts, mildy sour / tart fruit.
T - sweet dark malts, sour ripe fruit, roasted coffee notes.
M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth with a lingering off fruit note.
D - unusual and interesting for the experience.

props to the brewery for wandering off the map with this one. worth a try for the experience.

Photo of JoshLikesBeer
4.39/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer tastes like an imperial version of Young's Double Chocolate Stout plus added pomegranate juice and the fruity esters of a Belgian yeast.

This beer doesn't attempt to meet any formal style definition. I'm not sure why it is listed as an "American Strong Ale", other than the fact that it's as good a place as any. I won't judge it for compliance to the style, because the beer makes no claims to be an "American Strong Ale".

A - Very dark, with a brown head that quickly dissipates into a ring around the edge of my snifter glass.

S - The smell is awesome. Chocolate from the malt, pomegranate from the juice, plus some raisins/dried cherries/plums from the yeast. The hops are subtle, but they're there.

T - Chocolate and pomegranate. Maybe a little too sweet.

M - The carbonation is moderate, and the finish is dry.

D - I really liked it, but the flavors are very strong. I couldn't see drinking more than one of these in an evening. However, that's probably a good thing because very easy drinking high gravity beers get me into trouble.

Photo of hwwty4
3.74/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Sebletitje for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my New Belgium lobe. This beer pours a dark brown with just a few wisps of a head that instantly disappeared, leaving no traces that it was even there. The aroma is of milk chocolate, roasted malts, and overly sweet pomegranate juice. The flavor is like sweet milk chocolate that has a pomegranate filling but the more it warms a slight chalky under flavor comes through. The mouthfeel is way to light for this beer. I wish it had a bit more heft to it. This is a good start to a beer. I wish that they would look at reworking it. It could be fantastic.

Photo of nrbw23
2.33/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Pours a black color with a very small tan head that recedes to pretty much nothing. Not to much in the way of lacing either.

S- Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, touch of yeast and something fruity I guessing its the pomegranate. Could also pick up some alcohol in there.

T- Not a real fan of this one here and tried to choke it down. Fruity flavours, mostly pomegranate, which gets quickly covered up by the chocolate, and the roasted malts. Its both very sweet and also a touch of sour in there.

M- Seemed pretty thin, watery, and also light on the carbonation.

D- Just way too sweet for me. Very different for sure. I struggled with this one and honestly couldn't finish this one.

Photo of Kadonny
2.36/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: A deep black color with a light brown one finger head. Minimal lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts, chocolate and some sweetness.

T: Strong ale? Reminds me of a sweet stout. Dark roasted malt flavors with burnt coffee, chocolate and a coying sweetness to it. I guess that's the pomegranite or whatever it is. Either way, I didn't really dig it.

M: Medium to heavy, light carbonation and a hint of alcohol and a funky sweet aftertaste that lingers.

D: Low for me, I couldn't finish the bottle. Sorry.

Overall not a beer I enjoyed at all, in fact I couldn't finish it. That sweetness was just left a terrible aftertaste in my mouth.

Photo of rtratzlaff
2.77/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am not sure how I am to review this style wise since this is listed as an American strong ale, but the lable claims it as a Belgian black ale. The yeast used was Belgian, but I guess that is the only thing Belgian about this beer since its brewed in Florida.

It pours deep black beer in color with a one finger head that dissipates to a small island of thin off white head.

Aromas are mainly chocolate and black malt with plenty of sweetness. Not really too much fruit, but really sweet in the smell.

Flavors are really sweet with some chocolate in there as well. There's not a complex Belgian quality to this, but its really one dimensional. Is it drinkable? Yes. But something about this reminds me of a mass produced fruit beer aimed to not taste like "beer." Too Sweet.

Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A blackish body with a one-finger semi-tan head that sticks around a little. Great roasted malt smell, hints of coffee and chocolate. Smooth and creamy, full-bodied with minor fruit notes. Good sweet touch here. Has somewhat of a dry backbite, but more or less passes down smoothly. Malty taste, roasted, coffee, chocolate and a little syrup. Good beer that I'll have to have again when I'm back in FLA.

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

Pours jet black. No light escaping from this one. A persistent but thin light brown head. The pomegranate juice is evident in the aroma buoyed by a sweet roasty malt.

Tastes of roasty malt with the fruity sweetness from the pomegranate. As it warms the pomegranate fades a bit and lets that big roastiness through. Big full body with a lingering sweetness.

My only complaint is that the pomegranate is a little heavy handed. The bottle says it can be aged for up to two years. I wonder if some age will mellow out the fruit. Three more bottles left. I plan to find out.

Photo of kirok1999
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep black with garnet hues around the edges. Quite a few bubbles rising from the bottom of the snifter.
Smells very fruity. I guess I haven't smelled that many pomegrantaes to discern their quality. Lots of dark fruit, like an exotic raisin.
Nice fruity taste as well, some chocolate shows up in the middle of the sip. Kind of spicy too, maybe some hops showing up?
Very rich and heavy mouthfeel.
I don't know if I'd drink many of these in a night. One is OK.

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 RickSawyer
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours almost a pitch black with a thin mocha head that falls quickly to a film. Smell is full of roasted almond, pecan smoke, hints of apricot, plum, some peachy floral hints all finished by an alcohol bite. Taste begins with a roasted, malt forward note of burnt toast and roasted nuts. Then comes a plesantly unexpected fruity note full of raspberry, faint notes of pom juice, and some floral tangerine. Mouthfeel is light and carbonated. This is certainly a strange brew, one hard to really catagorize. I can't see drinking much more than a pint.

Photo of aubuc1
3.77/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to an imperial pint glass.

Pours black with a thin tan head.

Roasted malt smell with a sweet smell of pomegranite in the back.

Taste is very smokey/roasty with a hint of the pomegranate. Much like the smell.

Feels nice and is very drinkable.

I like both beers from Holy Mackerel, but this one is better than the golden ale.

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 DaveFL1976
3.22/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I live just across the river from the Florida Beer Company. I'm used to them producing rather bland and uninteresting beers. Fortunately, out of either inspiration or desperation, they've started to contract their brew system out.
They've been doing Holy Mackerel for a while now, and just started up producing Two Tail Pale Ale, which is quite pleasant.

This is a new one, as well. Mack in Black pours (you guessed it) a black body with a foamy brown sugar-colored head. The head settles down rather quickly, much in the same manner as the Holy Mackerel. The smell is roasty and chocolaty. Big time. Lots of chocolate malts in here gives it a dry and bitter smell. But not the pleasing hop bitter. Taste starts out a little sweet and then sweeps onto the back of the tounge with a bit of acidic sourness. Perhaps from the pomogranate? Or maybe from the tannins in the dark malt?

I sort of like the taste of this beer. It's not unpleasant. It has some good parts in the taste. As your swallowing you get the full sense of what's going on, but then a bit of weirdness lingers on your tongue.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side. It doesn't say if they're upping the ABV with sugar or just with fruit. I'd imagine there's some sort of added fermentable, though. I think i'd like a little more viscocity.

Drinkability is OK. Maybe it'll get smoother as it ages. I've also got my fingers crossed that the aroma will smooth out as it ages.

Edit: The taste does start to smooth out as it warms. I'm bumping the taste up to a 4.

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 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 AlexJ
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is very deep brown, almost black. In the fading sunlight of my patio there is a intense garnet cast when held aloft. Adequate lacing and retention.

Aroma is a interesting meeting of a stout, a dark Belgian ale, and a fruit infuzed strong ale. Definate dark malt, chocolate and roasty notes with faint spice and yeasty esters. There's an underlying sweetness of red fruit.

Flavor is more stout-like up front; dark roast malt, bittersweet chocolate, and scorched caramel. The middle is fruity and sweet with a fading finish that leaves your tongue bittersweet.

Body is quite big, creamy, and lush with good drinkability in spite of the high ABV. Would be excellent with a warm brownie and vanilla bean icecream and razberry drizzle.

Photo of markwise
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a surprisingly great beer. For an imperial stout-type beer it has a bit of a watery mouthfeel. It pours a dark black with a very shy tan head. In the bottle it smells of chocolate, coffee, and the fruit (pomegranate) is absent from the aroma, and almost from the flavor as well. On draft the smooth fruit at the end is much more pronounced.

It has all of the flavors of an Imp Stout, but is dangerously more drinkable. The ABV hides in the flavor, so watch out for surprises.

Photo of joepais
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to goryshkewych for this one
Bottle poured in to a sniffer produced a fingers worth of tan head that goes to a ring of lace. The body on this one is jet black no light coming thru at all

Aromas of this is dominated by roasted malts some fruits as well the Belgian yeast aroma shows as it warms

Flavor is a little bitter from the roasted malts but there is a slight fruity sweetness in the end. In a strange way it kind of reminds me of a sour

Medium mouthfeel not much carbonation on the tongue

The brew kind of grows on you. I could drink a few of these maybe space apart a little. Overall an interesting brew and it has Pomegranate so it must be good for you

Holy Mackerel Mack In Black from Holy Mackerel Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.