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Black Hawk Stout - Mendocino Brewing Company

Black Hawk StoutBlack Hawk Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

593 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 593
Reviews: 422
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 13.35%

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-15-2001)
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Ratings: 593 | Reviews: 422 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of FLima


3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deepest black color with a thick caramel head with good retention and leaving lots of laces.
Aroma of coffee, a touch of smoked malt and dark chocolate.
Flavor of earthy and citrusy hops, roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate powder, charcoal, pepper and licorice.
Very dry aftertaste with a long lingering bitter roasted coffee notes.
Light to medium body with perfect carbonation.
Assertive beer, but quite flavorful and very enjoyable. In my opinion it is under rated, and definitely I would drink this over Guinness.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 03:04:28 | More by FLima
Photo of ThisWangsChung


2.69/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. There's about a finger worth of a light tan colored head, also. Retention is about average for the style, but the texturing is very nice. Some decent lacing is left behind.

S: The aroma is rather muted, unfortunately. There is a presence of chocolate backed by some brown sugar, and there's even a touch of hoppiness. As it warms up, it becomes quite caramel-forward...too caramel-forward, actually.

T: Actually, it's hoppier than I anticipated. It tries to have an initial coffee-like flavor to start, but it's general hop bitterness that I'm picking up the most. That, and a ton of caramel. I'm really missing some of the roasted and chocolaty flavors I get out of other stouts.

M: At least it deserves some credit for having a crisp dryness to it. Given that, its light body, and its decent carbonation, it's pretty easy to drink.

O: Not a fan, really. Hoppy stouts need to have a nice backbone of malt and hop flavors, not weak caramel with a ton of generic bitterness. Guess which one this achieves?

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 19:49:10 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of MDDMD


3.79/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-dark brown color with a nice tan head and good lacing

S-dark malt, chocolate, coffee, hint of molasses

T-dark roasted malt, chocolate, light coffee, molasses, mild bitter finish

F-light to medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-decent stout, needs bigger flavor, but enjoyables

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 21:57:16 | More by MDDMD
Photo of TheSixthRing


3.31/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Pours a near black, deep brown with a nice tan 2-finger head. Fair retention. Streaky lacing with little stick.

Smell - Faint aroma throughout. Hints of milk chocolate and coffee roastiness. Ghostly hint of fruity esters.

Taste - Moderate notes of powered chocolate, followed by faint fruity ester sweetness and a light coffee roast finish.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body, with fair carbonation. Fluffy, somewhat creamy at first, but dies quickly as the beer warms. Finishes with slight dryness.

Overall - This is my second go-around with this beer, and while I've enjoyed it more this time, it still doesn't quite hit the spot. It's a beer I don't mind drinking, so long as I don't have to pay for it.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 00:06:26 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of RonaldTheriot


4.61/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mendocino Black Hawk Stout has a thick, creamy, beige head, a very dark brown (essentially black) appearance, with reddish-brown highlights at the edges, and some thin lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of dark-roasted coffee, black bread crust, and chocolate powder. Taste is of charcoal, burnt sugar, black bread, dark bread crust, cocoa powder, milk, cream, dark cherries, licorice, and a minimal bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Mendocino Black Hawk Stout finishes semi-dry, easy going, and highly drinkable. Overall, this is another great one from Mendocino!


Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 17:01:37 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of Jacobob10

New Jersey

3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pitch black in color with a thin brown head. Lightly carbonated. Mild coffee aroma with not much else going on. Light to medium bodied, a bit on the light side for a stout. More coffee notes from the roasted malt. The low carbonation makes for a bit of a flat feeling on the tongue. All in all, a very average stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 16:53:30 | More by Jacobob10
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle.
Clear dark brown pour, nearly black in my snifter; The cocoa colored head is small and short-lived but leaves some lacing.
The nose is a little faint and subtle, but otherwise attractive. Smells a bit more like a sweet milk stout than an Irish dry.
T: It’s stronger on the palate than in the nose, with ample dark roasted malt providing hints of dark chocolate and coffee. No unwanted burnt flavors. Good sweet/bitter balance.
M: mildly creamy with medium+ body and a semi-dry finish.
O: a very good if rather mainstream version of the style, with a fine, long-lasting aftertaste of lightly bitter, very dark malts.

(revised with .25 rating system and another bottle on Feb. 2013)

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 00:21:30 | More by chinchill
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours pitch black with a frothy and thick dark tan head that reduces to a thin layer with good retention, just a bit of lace.

S- roasted smoky malts with just a bit of caramel and light hop

T- roasted malts with a bit of a charcoal bitterness, toffee, finishes dry and chocolaty

M- light-med body, med-low carbonation, creamy finish. Not as heavy as a typical stout but right on with the style. Very drinkable .

O- I enjoyed this one, its super drinkable and even sessionable. Roasted notes along with some sweet chocolate match well.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 01:37:16 | More by Treyliff
Photo of tjsdomer2


3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lots of tan foam. Coke-like color, but a bit thicker.

Smell: Brown sugar and faint fruit.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Dark fruit. Some coffee/chocolate in the background. Definitely different than other Irish stouts, which usually seem to have less fruit. Starts smooth and gets watery like Guinness in the finish.

Overall Drinkability: I like this, since it's a bit different.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 22:21:52 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of scvance

South Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours pitch black with a thick, creamy, tan head. Excellent retention and lacing all the way down. Very fine bubbles in the head. Aroma is nice, roasted malt, caramel, and chocolate notes. Taste is good, bitterness from the darker malts comes through, coffee and chocolate notes as well. Slightly sweet up front with a lingering bite reminiscent of dark chocolate. Not bad, just not very different from many other stouts. Low to medium in carbonation, full body, and a creamy smooth mouthfeel. Overall a very nice beer for an end to a cold day like today.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 22:52:25 | More by scvance
Photo of Hopfenpeter


3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured pitch black, produced a thin brown head,mwhich dissipated instantly. No lacing!
The smell hints roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee.
The taste is dominated by the roasted malts throughout the tasting. There are hints of coffee and dark chocolate. The rating experience is more on the bitter side.
The beer is medium bodied and easy to drink, but certainly nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2012 02:30:51 | More by Hopfenpeter
Photo of mdwalsh


3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Zero head, but black as all get out.

S: Not much aroma. A light, roasty smell, but very weak.

T: Stronger, and solid. Pretty nice. Toasty and roasty, not burnt though, a good balance of a black malt. Maybe a little boozy

M: Smooth, pretty nice, with a beer this dark you could use a little higher protein malt to capture the body though...

O; Acceptable, for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2012 21:52:35 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of tkelley


3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a dimbled mug. Bought it at the brewery in Saratoga in a mix 12 pack.

A -- Looks a lot like a cola. Very dark brown, not too many highlights. Tannish head with some big bubbles at first, dissipated pretty quickly to just some foam around the edges.

S - Roasty malt like you would expect, not much else.

T - Not very sweet. Dark malt tastes. No chocolate or coffee notes really, but there is some dried fruit kind of taste in the back.

M - Not too smooth, kind of bubbly like ginger ale.

O - I would drink a lot of other Irish Dries before this one, but it works. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 20:51:09 | More by tkelley
Photo of TheQuietMan22


3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is not-quite-opaque black; a little light passed through when I held it to a lamp. Two fingers of frothy, tan head dissipated slowly to leave a rocky and spotted lacing.

Smell: Relatively Irish (from my experience) and tame for a stout. Light roasted bitterness, oatmeal, black raspberry, dark fruit (maybe some plum), caramel, toffee, black licorice, and chocolate. The smell evokes a smooth, creaminess, and the scents coalesce nicely.

Taste: A little roasted malt bitterness complements oatmeal smoothness, chocolate, caramel, toffee, black licorice, black raspberry, and dark fruit plum. It has a thickish body that is leaning toward heavy, but its very smooth and velvety. At the end there is a hint of black pepper.

Drinkability: Don’t let the corny label fool you. This is solid stuff.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 04:44:37 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of JackieTH


3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at 2012 Autumn Brew Review, from notes.

Pour was cola black with a small head that dissipated quickly and no lace.

Smell was roasted malt, bordering on smoky. Taste was initially creamy and slightly sweet but roasted malt was assertive driving underlying chocolate and coffee characteristics. A bit earthy. Medium body. Dry finish. An okay Irish stout certainly, though nothing memorable.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 20:31:01 | More by JackieTH
Photo of ckollias


4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a thick brown 3-finger head after a violent poor. Head quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Great malty aroma with a good roasted barley and black malt background.

T: Very smooth malty flavor with great coffee and chocolate overtones.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Really enjoyed this brew. Very smooth with great flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 02:22:23 | More by ckollias
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - deep, dark brown bordering on black; big cap of brown head fades to thin lacing after a minute

S - faint roasted malts, faint chocolate

T - roasted malts, citrusy hops, light chocolate, faint coffee

M - light to medium bodied, a bit thin at times, well carbonated, very smooth

This is an easy to drink, flavorful beer. The citrusy character threw me off a bit, but overall I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2012 00:06:11 | More by tdm168
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch and a half of creamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A somewhat muted aroma of malt, chocolate, and a tiny bit of hops.

T: Tasted pretty much like it smelled: A big shot of malt, with some chocolate, and a hint of hops in the finish. Not a particularly powerful or complex flavor, but not bad either.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a super dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: While the Irish Dry Stout style doesn't exactly lend itself to greatness, Mendocino does a decent, but not spectacular job with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2012 12:05:08 | More by avalon07
Photo of JuicesFlowing


4.23/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a rich espresso black with brown around the edges when held to the light. A chunky off-white head dissipates to a film of bubbles, and leaves minimal lacing. The beer smells of burnt malts and bitter chocolate. The taste is spot on with the appearance and smell so far, in other words it tastes like a good, typical Irish dry stout. The bitter chocolates and burnt, yet semi-sweet malt coats the taste buds with a dry bitterness following. Also a slightly smokey taste in there. The mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, just a solid stout all around. Probably would get a better score if i had any sentimental connection to it, but I don't.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 21:00:21 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of rickyleepotts


2.43/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The Black Hawk Stout was first brewed right after I was born… maybe this is my birthday beer! I like the label too… the hawk looks mad. Maybe this is a mean beer. The ABV isn’t very big, but the tasting notes call it “thick” and “creamy”, which is a good sign in a stout.

According to Untappd I have already had this beer. It does look familiar, but I don’t recall having it. I gave it 2 out of 5 stars. Let’s see what she can do for me when I am drinking with a purpose.

In the Glass: This is pitch black with a thin tan head and decent lace. For a beer that has been described as “thick” and “creamy”, I expected a bigger and more pronounced head.

Nose: It smells like a nitro beer. It doesn’t really smell like a stout until the end. There are also some hints of copper on the nose. I will warn you, I have been sick all week. A few days ago I couldn’t even smell. But that is all behind me now, so let’s see what the Black Hawk Stout tastes like.

Flavor: There is subtle carbonation on the front of the palate, then it slides down the throat with ease. The true flavor kicks in in the aftertaste, but we will get to that in a second. We are drinking this straight out of the fridge, so I assume this beer would get better as it heats up.

Mouthfeel: For a stout, the mouthfeel is kind of boring. I had some pretty high expectations for this one, but it’s nothing more than a mediocre stout. I hate Guinness, but would rather have one of those than this. I am glad they have a cool looking label. That at least gives me something to look at.

Aftertaste: This is where the flavor comes in. The tasting notes mentioned caramel and chocolate, and you don’t even get a hint of that until the very end. But as the beer sits there on your tongue, you start to pick up those notes. I would drink this beer again just for the aftertaste.

This beer might be my birthday beer, but there are a lot of other beers that I would rather drink. It is affordable here in the Circle City, and available almost anywhere. This beer is just nothing to write home about. I can see why I gave it 2 out of 5 stars.

Black Hawk Stout - The bottle says: “This award winning brew is Handcrafted to perfection. A Premium American Classic from a Pioneer Brewing Legend.”

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 23:45:14 | More by rickyleepotts
Photo of Lordquackingstic

New York

3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark like a midnight sky black. Not much head, sadly.

S: Toasted malts, chocolatey, slight coffee notes.

T: Dry chocolate, toffee, toasty, pretty tasty.

M: Very dry, a little too dry.

O: Not a bad stout, pretty middle of the road. Got a 12oz bottle as a gift, probably wouldn't have tried it otherwise. Glad I did though. Not sure if I'd get a six pack of it, but I'd definitely drink it again if the chance arose.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2012 02:11:11 | More by Lordquackingstic
Photo of Jonmoore89

North Carolina

4.85/5  rDev +37.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured black as night. Didn't retain its head as well as I would have liked.

S: Noticed Chocolate scent right away. Roasted and Nutty.

T: Sweet Chocolate at the beginning and ends with a nice mildly bitter coffee taste.

M: The light carbonation is nice. Tastes heavy and smooth.

O: Great Stout! Among the best that I've had for the price.

Serving type: growler

03-27-2012 21:27:03 | More by Jonmoore89
Photo of bskrtz


3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into glass pint

A) Black cola. No light passes through accept the occasional beige carbonated foam rising up the glass. Lacy head settles quickly

S) Toasted malt, licorice, sour dough, coriander spice

T) Espresso, burnt dark chocolate, sweet malts, hint of bitter hops.

M) Medium bodied and dry, sticky, well carbonated. A good example.

O) Very drinkable, with classic stout taste.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 16:01:44 | More by bskrtz
Photo of andrewjraab


3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - pitch black with a very small ring of creamy off white head.

S- The first thing that hit me was a smokiness to the smell. The more I took it in the more I got the malty and sweet smells of caramel.

- This is a solid stout that is highly drinkable. Medium body with a variety of different flavors - sweet, smokey, and a slightly bitter finish.

- I got this in my beer of the month collection and it is definitely a solid stout, but it didn't blow me away.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 03:38:15 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 02/18/12 notes. Had on tap at Rattle N Hum in NYC.

a - Poura a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, and milk chocolate. Light sweet dark fruits as well...pretty nice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits. There is a tiny bit of sourness or tang in the dark fruits; not bad at all, just interesting. Wonder if it's supposed to be like that.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall a decent beer. Was surprised by the light sour dark fruit in the taste; judging by other reviews I'm guessing this is not intended, though I kind of liked it. Tried it next to O'Hara's Irish Dry Stout on cask and O'Hara's was much better...I might have to revisit my review of O'Haras.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2012 21:39:23 | More by mdfb79
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Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 593 ratings.