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Holy Mackerel Mack In Black - Holy Mackerel Brewing

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

192 Ratings

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Ratings: 192
Reviews: 138
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 192 | Reviews: 138
Photo of slowdaddy
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of jmbraxton
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of Btr73
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%

Photo of JohnQVD
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of twizzbeatz
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Reaper16
2.79/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle -- 2009 vintage -- served into a pint glass

Pours a darkdark brown color; it isn't black but it comes fairly close. You can't see through it at all. There's nearly 1.5 fingers of dense looking tan head on this beer. It's pretty OK looking, all-in-all.

The first thing I notice in the aroma is the sourish pungency. It's coming from the adjunct use of pomegranate juice. This note, when combined with the (slightly acrid) roasted malts, makes for a cheap approximation of a Belgian Imperial Stout (ala Black Albert or Dark Truth). I say cheap because you can tell that the fruity sour note is coming not from the malts and fermentation but from something else, something added.

As far as taste goes, it follows the nose. It tastes like a weakish imperial stout with pomegranate juice. It totally tastes just like POM; it's an unmistakable flavor. What gets me is that it is possible -- through malt bill selection and yeast activity -- to achieve similar fruity characteristics. This beer takes a shortcut and the result is a loss in complexity. It's not a bad tasting beer. Actually, it tastes fine. It's just not remarkable in any way.

Overall, this is an average strong beer. It actually is an OK drink. It isn't bad and it isn't good. I don't see myself drinking this one again, but I'm sort of glad I experienced it.

Photo of djrn2
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of mntlover
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black of course with red notes when held to the light big fluffy coco head falls to scum with descent lace.

Aroma is nice roasted malts chocolate notes dark fruits, plums come to mind with some light tartness. Bottle says pomegranate so guess its not plums but nice.

Taste is like nose but not as rich some roasted malt but lighter with the fruits again that is nice. Finish is lightly tart fruit notes and grassy hops mingle with some earthy yeast. over all enjoyable just little lighter then I was expecting from the nose.

Mouthfeel is medium with carbonation that is just a touch too peppy for me, would be better if it wasn't as carbonated.

Overall not bad at all, a black ale with some tart fruitiness, different and enjoyable.

Photo of thecheapies
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Holy Mackerel! No, seriously. Never had this brewery before, but a friend scored me two different beers of theirs from Florida.

Poured almost black with a mocha-colored head that lightened as it fell. Sparkling foam had too many big bubbles comprising it. Looks fizzy. 3.5

Some licorice, rough hops, sweet malts, roasty bitterness, nuttiness. Interesting enough. 3.0

A whole lotta booze with roasted malts, earthy hops, licorice, and coffee. There's a tangy dark fruit in there that is probably compliments of the pomegranate juice used during the brewing process. I get that it's pomegranate, and it offers some nice short-lived tartness. This is a bit of a mess. Not enough hop oomph to be a Black IPA or Cascadian Ale, not enough malt richness to be a true American Strong. Tastes good enough to warrant an above-average rating. 3.5

Too hot for an 8% beer. And, quite fizzy. Overly carbonated and thinner-bodied to become attenuated and not up to the challenge. 2.5

Eh, it was fun to try. I'll review the other of theirs soon enough. 3.0

Photo of ThickNStout
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from ABC Liquers (St Pete, FL). Served in a Southern Tier snifter. No bottling date. 

Pours black with a lively 4 fingers tan head. 

Strange mix of aromas: charred malt, piney hop, fruit, oats and metal.

Taste starts off like a stout with burnt malts, chocolate and bitter coffee. But there are certainly some hops in there too, mixed with fruit. It's not really bad but it's all over. The moderate abv is well masked by the confusing barrage of flavor.

Feel is medium body with rather high carbonation. 

I'm fine with having tried this but sure glad I got it in a mixed 6 rather than committing to a full 6 pack. I'll credit it with being unlike anything else I've had, and for that give it a slight point boost overall, but the flavors never quite found a harmony. Worth a try but not worth a hunt. 

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 Hoppaholic
1/5  rDev -71.1%

Photo of bushwack
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of Goulash
2.5/5  rDev -27.7%

Photo of bleeng
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from Tom the beer guy. Shipped to me by Tom on his business trip-a true fiend!! Pours dark black with a very fizzy and fast dissipating head-all gone. Nose is a bit chocolate and malty-and maybe a bit old.Taste is malty, chocolate and very carbonated, especially for such a dark beer. Alcohol is just a bit present. Not bad but overall pretty much an average beer. Leaves me thinking that this style has seen better days.

Photo of bcsbeer
4.41/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Poured black as night with a tall brown head that hung around for a really long time. It’s nice to have a beer that can hold its suds for more than a few minutes. I’m not sure if the sexy curves of the tulip glass didn’t influence me, but that is one good looking beer.
The smell did not disappoint, a prelude of good things to come. Taste was of malt, coffee, caramel, dark chocolate, pomegranate, and the flavors blended nicely. The mouth feel was mature, rich but not too sweet.
This is a beer you want to take your time with and enjoy.
It makes me glad I live in FL.

Photo of karatebartender
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
2.5/5  rDev -27.7%

Photo of bdeast1
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Aiptasia
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm not quite as harsh a critic as the Alstrom Bros. on this one. I had this beer recently on tap in St. Augustine and took notes during the tasting.

A: Reminiscent of a stout on the pour. Inky dark well of blackned pitch in the glass with a light tan clingy head. Decent lacing when imbibed.

S: Definite sour notes on the nose reminiscent of burnt peach and coal. I didn't know pomegranite was used in this brew and couldn't put my finger on the fruit smell.

T: There's a mild sourness right up front which is completely unexpected from the appearance. I don't know about you, but i've never really had a sour porter or stout, and that's what this is like. Dark drunk raisins and plum notes on the backend with definite alcohol warming reminiscent of the style.

M: Drinks easily enough. Tart and dry on the back end. Micro carbonated, medium bodied. Not a thick viscous beer.

O: I kinda liked it. The juxtaposition of styles reminded me of a hybrid lambic/english southern mild approach in the beer. It isn't what a lot of people expect which is what knocks them for a loop.

Photo of Duff27
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2009

A- Head settles in at an inch tall and brown. Nice black colored beer with a short lived head (only leaves a ring around the glass) and almost nil lacing.

S- Smells is of deep, dark fruits and alcohol.

T- Whoa, that's a kick, definitely different. More dark fruits...specifically plums, prunes, raisins, and because the label says so, pomegranate. Dark chocolates. Drinks way more than 8%abv.

M- Good carbonation. Medium to medium-thick mouthfeel.

D/O- Usually I don't mind my beers on the boozy side but this was a bit much, almost harsh. Would have again down the line but will be wiser to split with someone. Held up well. Held on to this one for a special occasion...pre-poker night will do!

Photo of papat444
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

***2009 Vintage***

Picked this up last Sept. in Daytona.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Pours like a stout meaning an almost black body with an espresso foam colored head. Thick and insistent with lots of lacing coating the glass.

Smell: At first, smells like honey on grapefruit then comes the strong, roasty notes. An odd but pleasing mix.

Taste: Pomegranates at first but roasted flavors are stronger. Chocolate is present as well as some melted honey on grapefruit. A bit of sugar. Really digging this.

Mouthfeel: Strong body a t first but doesn't hold its weight midway right to the end as it goes weak and watery a bit. Smoothness saves the body.

Overall: Really surprised by this one and glad to have tried it. The combo of fruit and roasted malt really works well.

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a half finger mocha head

smell: roast, chocolate, sweet, malts, berry

taste: roast, pomegranate, malt, chocolate

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: interesting brew. not expecting it to be so roasty. But it was still a decent beer.


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.

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Holy Mackerel Mack In Black from Holy Mackerel Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.